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Oklahoma football: Lineman Gabe Ikard is the right man for any job

OU FOOTBALL — Gabe Ikard played all three offensive line positions in one game, and he's changed positions again this season.
BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM, Staff Writer, Published: August 26, 2012

When OU needed a guard, it converted Gabe Ikard. When it needed a center, coaches moved him again.

When Bob Stoops is looking for an answer, why is Ikard such a candidate to help him solve it?

We'll let Stoops answer that one.

“Gabe is the best,” Stoops said just days after Ikard became the Sooners new center again.

“Believe me, if we needed a tackle, he'd play tackle. He's talented enough to do that.”

Ikard might not have been Landry Jones' groomsman like former center Ben Habern, but he does understand what it means to get the job done.

“I wasn't in the wedding, but I was there,” Ikard said about the OU quarterback's recent marriage. “Me and Landry are close. It's one of those things that I might not be his best friend like Ben is, but we're not battling each other or anything like that. We're good friends.”

When Habern quit playing football due to a neck injury, Jones and Stoops needed to turn to somebody who could maintain the offense's tempo.

The fix is Gabe Ikard, who already has the experience.

“It gives me all the confidence in the world,” said Ikard. “It's actually more comforting knowing now that I'm the center and that's it.

“Like the Baylor game, I played all three (positions). If something goes wrong I went to right guard, but now I'm comfortable. I know it's my spot, so I'm just working hard to get this line together and develop some more continuity.”

Last season, Ikard played three games at left guard, slid over to center for seven games to cover for Habern and then returned to left guard for the final three games.

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“Not Landry's best man, but the next best thing”

Ikard wasn't projected to be the center and he wasn't Landry Jones' best man this summer, but he will graciously fill the role.


* OU quarterback Landry Jones: “It wasn't too much of an adjustment (from Habern to Ikard). Gabe played a majority of the time last year, and even when Ben did come back, they switched back and forth between guard and center. It wasn't a big deal switching to Gabe.”

* OU coach Bob Stoops: “Gabe's really excellent.”

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