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Sooners center Gabe Ikard grew up a Notre Dame fan

by Stephanie Kuzydym Modified: April 18, 2013 at 4:48 pm •  Published: October 25, 2012
Oklahoma's Gabe Ikard played both center and guard last season. PHOTO BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVE
Oklahoma's Gabe Ikard played both center and guard last season. PHOTO BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVE

Gabe Ikard was there for that 2000 Nebraska game.

The one when the Sooners fans stormed the field. He stormed with them … then quickly came back to his grandparents who, he said, were a bit unhappy that he ran off.

That’s because in 2000, Ikard was about eight years old.

Twelve years later, the Oklahoma center is about to be involved in the biggest game for Oklahoma since that day over a decade ago. No. 5 Notre Dame comes to Norman to take on No. 7 Oklahoma in the marquee match-up of the week.

Ikard — who grew up Catholic — was actually once considered a member of the “Fighting Irish.” He went to Bishop McGuinness High School in Oklahoma City and can sing the Notre Dame Fight Song — since it’s the same song his high school marching band played.

He was even recruited by the school based in South Bend, Ind.

“It was in my top three with Stanford and (Oklahoma),” Ikard said.

He chose to stay in state and now he’s one of the stars for the Sooners.

“It’s kind of a love-hate thing with Notre Dame,” Ikard told the Norman Transcript. “I grew up in a Catholic school my entire life. I was always a Notre Dame fan.

“It’s kind of like the Yankees. You either love them or you hate them.”

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by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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