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Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Crimson Countdown: C Gabe Ikard

By Brandon Chatmon

During the summer months, SoonerNation will take a closer look at each player on Oklahoma’s roster in our Crimson Countdown series. Each day, we will analyze each player’s impact on the program since arriving on campus, his potential impact this fall and his long-term impact. Starting with No. 1 Kendal Thompson, the series will follow the roster numerically through our final analysis of No. 99 Chaz Nelson.

No. 64 Gabe Ikard
Center, 6-foot-3, 298 pounds, senior

Impact thus far: Ikard has started 37 of 39 career games for the Sooners. He has done anything and everything asked of him since arriving on campus in 2009. A high school tight end, he moved to offensive line during his redshirt season, starting 12 games at guard as a redshirt freshman. As a sophomore, he started games at guard and center, earning All-Big 12 honors. Last season he started 12 games at center and grabbed All-Big 12 honors for the second straight season.

He has made a major impact on the program, both on and off the field, and is heading into his final season in crimson and cream.

Best case scenario in 2013: Ikard is one of the main leaders on the roster and continues to anchor OU’s offensive line. He earns All-Big 12 honors for the third straight season and gets some All-American recognition thanks to his consistency and versatility. He also mentors and prepare Ty Darlington to take over next season.

Worst case scenario in 2013: Ikard regresses somehow and doesn’t anchor the Sooners' offensive line as a core member of the offense. Based on his first four years in Norman, that’s a highly unlikely scenario.

SoonerNation's evaluation grade for Ikard: A. OU did a good job of projecting that Ikard, a prep tight end and defensive end, could develop into a solid offensive lineman thanks to his intelligence, competitiveness and willingness to do whatever it takes to help his team.

SoonerNation’s development grade for Ikard: A+. OU’s handling of Ikard has been flawless. Center is probably his best position, but the Sooners started him at guard to get him on the field early in his career, while also preparing him to handle the center position if needed.