"I just got some letters from them last week," Gabe Ikard said.
"It was a little surprising because I hadn't heard anything from them in a long time. They invited me to the Syracuse-Notre Dame basketball game on Feb. 24 (junior day). I'm trying to work out a way to get up there. Me and my Dad were just talking about that."
Last week was a good week for the tight end/defensive end standout from Bishop McGuinness High. On top of Notre Dame showing interest, Ikard got his first two scholarship offers. Tulsa offered a full ride on Wednesday, and Stanford did the same on Thursday.
"(Stanford head coach) Jim Harbaugh said he wanted me to play tight end," Ikard said. "I don't even know about Tulsa, they've never sent me a letter or anything. My high school coach just has a good relationship with their coaching staff, and they came to my school and looked at a lineman (teammate Gabe Moyer) that is going to their school, and coach (Kenny) Young said they would offer me, and the letter came the next day."
A three-year starter on the varsity, Ikard helped Bishop McGuinness win its second straight state title this past fall. He had 69 tackles and seven sacks. He also had 10 catches for 150 yards and five touchdowns.
Ikard is also receiving interest from Oklahoma, where he is a regular for Saturday home games, Kansas State, where his father played basketball, and Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Texas Tech, North Carolina, Purdue, and Kansas.
If he could choose, Ikard prefers to play tight end on the next level. He attended Oklahoma's junior day last week.
"I love going to Norman," Ikard stated. "I was mostly with coach (Chris) Wilson the whole time. He was just talking about what their plans are, and that him and coach (Bob) Stoops would sit down and see who they were going to offer, and what direction they were going to go.
"He led me to believe I'm going to be considered, but I don't know. There is a lot of really good players looking at OU. He said they would sit down and see what they needed. They didn't even offer a tight end last year, and they've signed one this year."
The only other place Ikard has had a chance to really visit is Oklahoma State. He isn't sure where he is going to go this spring or summer, but hopes it works out later this month to see Notre Dame
"We'd probably go by private plane," Ikard explained. "One of my friend's Dad has one, so we're trying to find a way to get up there because I have a basketball game (Ikard averages 10 points and 10 rebounds per game) that Saturday night at 8, so we'd have to fly up early in the morning. We've been trying to work it out so we can get up there."
Ikard reports a GPA of 4.43 on a 4.0 scale. He can bench press 250 pounds, squat 380, and runs a 5.0 second 40-yard dash.
Now that the Irish are starting to show Ikard some love, every recruiting site should have Notre Dame listed among his top schools.
"I'm very interested in Notre Dame," Ikard said. "The prestige of the school and the academics really draws me to it, because it's really highly regarded."