Rahatul Ashikim Khan, 24, lived in Round Rock and apparently had a 3.75 GPA at UT.
The FBI says the young man was helping terrorists.
And he was also the leader of an Austin-area group that pledged loyalty to a dead Taliban leader.
"He contemplated violent attacks here in Central Texas. We had indications that he had contemplated a variety of activities and we won't go into the details or specifics," said Supervisory Special Agent Jason Cromattrie with the FBI.
Last year, Khan and a man named Michael Wolfe were arrested.
Wolfe was a member of Khan's group...he was caught as he was about to board a plane for Syria to join ISIL.
The Department of Justice says Khan had identified someone in an internet chatroom and began assessing that person for overseas violent Jihadist travel.
That person was an FBI informant.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg Sofer says the goal is to prevent violence.
"The worst thing that could happen is for us to be standing here on the courthouse steps saying we successfully prosecuted someone who killed however many Austinites. That's a disaster for us," Sofer said.
Khan's attorney Joe Turner says at the end of the day, his client rejected committing acts of terrorism.
"He just told them he wasn't going to be a terrorist. So they proved that he wasn't a terrorist...yet because he introduced the paid informant to the terrorist that he met online, he ended up in a very serious situation," Turner said.
Turner fought for less jail time -- but says the sentence certainly could have been much worse.
"I think a lesson learned for anyone...young Muslims that are on these chatrooms is...get off of them. The government is listening on these chatrooms and they're rightfully so monitoring them, thank God they are," Turner said.
But Turner believes sometimes the government oversteps the boundary in trying to prove the terrorist activity.
"I like this kid. He's a good kid. You know if you met him you would like him. He could live next door to me, really," Turner said.
Khan came to his own defense in the courtroom today reiterating that he's not anti-American.
Judge Sparks sentenced Khan to 10 years in federal prison followed by 10 years of supervision.