Okam joins a long line of high-profile UT juniors who have elected to stay in school under head coach Mack Brown. Running back Ricky Williams (1998), DT Casey Hampton (2000), OT Leonard Davis (2000), CB Quentin Jammer (2001), OT Mike Williams (2001), WR Roy Williams (2003), RB Cedric Benson (2004), LB Derrick Johnson (2004) and S Michael Huff (2005) all became first-round draft picks after announcing they would return for their final seasons.
"So many great players have returned," Okam followed. "You look at all of those guys, and they're doing well. The extra year didn't hurt them in any way, and they got the extra education they wouldn't have gotten if they had left early. The fact that all of those great talents returned says a lot about coach Brown and what our coaching staff stands for. They stress academics as an important factor in your life, because life goes beyond football. It's the kind of program you want to be a part of, and you want to enjoy your time here. I just want to add to that list, and it's something special here that guys finish their degrees and are still the top players in the nation."
Okam, who earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors from The Associated Press in 2006, recorded 37 tackles, two sacks, six TFL and nine pressures this past season. He played in the middle of a UT defense that ranked third in the nation in rushing defense (61.2 ypg), 22nd in total defense (297.4 ypg) and 25th in scoring defense (18.3 ppg). In 37 career games (26 starts), Okam has 107 tackles, 17 TFL, five sacks, 29 pressures and four fumble recoveries.