Gabe Ikard Interview
Sr. / Oklahoma / OC

Updated - 2-17-14

By: Alex Khvatov


Alex Khvatov:  Describe your experience at the East/West Shrine Game. 
Gabe Ikard:  I had a great experience there.  I met a lot of great guys.  I formed some relationships.  I worked with some coaches that had experience in the NFL.  Overall, I had a good week.  I played well in the game.  It was important.  But the Senior Bowl is on another level.  These are the best guys in the country.      
Alex Khvatov:  You won the Pat Tillman Award (honors perseverance and talent during the week) at the Shrine Game, what did that mean to you? 
Gabe Ikard:  It was fantastic.  The award seemed to recognize your efforts on the field.  I was honored to have my name associated with Pat Tillman.  He is one of the heroes in this country.  He really gave up a lot.  He gave up his life in order to serve this country.  To be mentioned with his name is a tremendous honor.  I want to thank the Shrine Game for that.  I was very happy.
Alex Khvatov:  Gabe, what are your strengths on the football field? 
Gabe Ikard:  I think that I am a good leader.  It is one of the best things that I do out there.  I study tape well.  I know my assignments.  I try to be a calming presence to the other guys, so we are always on the same page.  I really dedicate myself to playing with good technique.  When you are facing these guys at this level, you have to play with good technique.  I always try to work on that every time during practice.  The mental part of the game is extremely important.  I am also able to process information well.  I make decisions quickly.  Offensive line is all about five guys working together.  We are a unit.  You are only as good as your weakest guy.  You have to get everyone in place.  We need to get on the same page this week.  That is what you are looking for. 
Alex Khvatov:  What are you trying to show scouts during this Senior Bowl week? 
Gabe Ikard:  I want to show my versatility.  I want to show that I can play more than one position.  Today, I was playing right guard during the most important practice of my career.  It is the first time ever that I have been in a right guard stance.  You have to show scouts that you are willing to go out there and take a chance.  You need to get out of your comfort zone and show something new.  They want guys that are open.  They want guys that are willing to take some risks.  I want to show my skill set.  I want to show them that I am willing to do whatever it takes to make an NFL roster.  They threw me out there at right guard, and I just went with it.  I just have to continue to work hard.
Alex Khvatov:  Tell us about the big win against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl this year. 
Gabe Ikard:  It was a great game for us.  It was the best game that we played all year.  It was a very fun atmosphere.  It was a great bowl experience.  No one gave us a chance.  We knew that we had the talent to beat Alabama based on what we saw on tape.  We took advantage of their weaknesses and exploited them during the game.  We had a good plan and executed it well. 
Alex Khvatov:  What is the highlight of your career?
Gabe Ikard:  I ended my career with a great win in the Sugar Bowl.  I also won two Big 12 Championships.  It was also special. 
Alex Khvatov:  Finish the sentence, Gabe Ikard is….
Gabe Ikard:  I am just a normal guy.  I like music, TV and travel.  I just like to hang out with my friends.  It is one of the main reasons why I love football.  You come close to people and develop relationships.  It is the best part about the game.  I am a guy that will be honest with you.  I will work as hard as I can to succeed.  I am very team-oriented.  I love being the leader on the team.  I love working towards a common goal.                                           


Discuss this on our Message Boards