« Football 2013

Gabe Ikard

School

Oklahoma

Position
Center
Major
Human Relations

Classroom

Ikard graduated with a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies - biological sciences in May 2013 after just four years with a 4.0 GPA. He chose his major field so he could build a degree path that would best prepare him to pursue a medical degree. He is now pursuing a second undergraduate degree in human relations. He received the 2013 1A FAR Academic Excellence Award and was named outstanding graduating senior in Multidisciplinary Studies for 2013. He also received the 2013 Gerald Lage Award, the highest academic award given by the Big 12 and was named the 2013 Big Man on Campus, one of only 13 men to receive the award. He was named to the 2013 Letzeiser Honor Award list and was a National Football Foundation State of Oklahoma Jim Thorpe College Players of the Year honoree. He received 2013 Dan S. Petty Scholar-Athlete Award, presented by the Cotton Bowl Association and was a 2012 Wuerffel Trophy finalist (presented to the NCAA FBS player who best combines athletic and academic achievement with exemplary community service. He is a 2013 AFCA Good Works team nominee and was a 2012 CoSIDA first-team Academic All-American, the first Sooner football player to earn first-team honors since 1986 and the first OU football player to earn back-to-back honors since 1966 and 1967. He was a 2011 CoSIDA second-team Academic All-American, one of three sophomores to earn a spot on the team and has potential to be the first Sooner FB player to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America honors three times in his career. He is an eight-time President’s Honor Roll honoree (4.00 GPA), a three-time Dan Gibbens Outstanding Scholar Athlete Award, presented by OU Athletics Council. Has been a two-time CoSIDA Academic all-district first-team member and a three-time Academic All-Big 12 first-team honoree. He has been named as a finalist for the National Football Foundation’s Campbell Award and is one of 16 postgraduate scholarship recipients from the NFF. He also has been nominated for the 2013 Wuerffel after finishing as a finalist last year.

Character

Ikard was elected a Sooner team captain for a second consecutive year by his teammates. He also served as a 2012 team captain, one of only two juniors elected by his teammates. He was called by his head coach “an exemplary leader for our team, whether it’s in the classroom, in the weight room, on the field or in the community”. Willing to do whatever it takes to help the team, Ikard was recruited originally as a tight end but began playing as a redshirt freshman at left guard, earning the starting role in the final 12 games of the season. He returned to that position in 2011 and started three games before he was moved to center to replace an injured teammate, then returned to left guard for the final three games of the 2011 season. He was scheduled to return to left guard as the starter when practice began for 2012 season. He was then shifted back to center before the season started after a teammate had to give up the sport and the team needed an experienced center. The anchor of the Sooner offensive line, Ikard is a unique student-athlete who would be a good candidate as the most accurate portrait of a student and an athlete. He has served as a steady influence despite numerous lineup changes the OU offensive line in 2012. He approaches challenges with an enthusiasm that is truly contagious whether it has meant bringing comfort to orphaned children during a relief mission to Haiti, excelling at the highest level in the classroom as he prepares for the possibility of medical school, or blocking some of college football’s toughest defensive linemen.

Community

A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Ikard Serves on the OU Leadership Team. With Mission of Hope he made trip to Haiti 2012 and spent a week working with Sooner teammates to rebuild/repair the damage caused by the massive earthquake that struck the country in January 2010. He has served as a representative from the football team on OU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a group that advises the athletics director on matters that relate to OU’s student-athletes in 2009-10 and 2010-11. He was selected for the OU President’s Leadership Class, 2009-10, an elite group of freshmen from across the OU campus who meet regularly for community service and leadership activities that is sponsored by OU President David L. Boren. To be a member of the class the student must be nominated for the honor and then go through a rigorous selection process. Ikard was a 2012 Wuerffel Trophy finalist, presented to the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision player who best combines athletic and academic achievement with exemplary community service and was one of only two juniors who were named a finalist for the prestigious honor in 2012. He was recognized for his efforts in community service by his teammates and staff of the OU Athletics Department. He balances his academic work, finishing his undergraduate degree with a perfect 4.0 GPA and a;.lso provides service to the 14 Foundation and the Special Spectators program and is a frequent visitor to Oklahoma City’s Children’s Hospital.

Competition

Ikard was on the 2013 preseason watch lists for the Lombardi, Outland and Rimington trophies. A consensus preseason All-America selection, he was also a preseason first-team All-Big 12 selection. He has played in 39 games entering the 2013 season with 37 starts with 19 starts at center (7 in 2011 and 12 in 2012) and 20 games at left guard (12 in 2010 and 6 in 2011), He was an integral part of an offensive unit that ranked fifth in the nation in passing in 2012. In 2012 he played in 12 games, starting all 12 at center. A Wuerffel Trophy finalist, Ikard was named All-Big 12 First Team by AP and coaches. He was also named Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year Honorable Mention by coaches. He also saw spot duty at left guard. A third-team All-American in 2011 by AP and Yahoo Sports, he earned All-Big 12 first team by AP and coaches in 2011 after starting all 13 games. He started first three games at left guard before sliding over to center for seven games in place of an injured teammates before returning to left guard for the final three games of the season. He led all interior lineman in blocking grades. He started at left guard in the final 12 games of the 2010 season while playing in all 14 and was named first-team Freshman All-American by Rivals and second-team Freshman All-American by Phil Steele and CollegeFootballNews.com. Was also named honorable mention All-Big 12 by AP.