Up to that point, Gabe Ikard had only received one letter from Notre Dame, a junior day invite for this Sunday. The 6-foot-4 ½, 250-pound defensive end/tight end from Bishop McGuinness High is unable to attend.
"It was one of those things I couldn't believe until it happened."
On Friday, Ikard excitedly did what he was told.
"Well first I called coach Haywood," Ikard began. "He was like, coach Weis wants to talk to you. Coach Weis and I talked about how basketball was going and stuff like that, just how I was doing and then he asked me if I was interested in Notre Dame. I said I was very interested. He said well then I'm offering you a full scholarship. I said wow! Awesome!
"Then we talked a little bit about what they're looking at me for. He said at first they were looking at me to play tight end but then when they saw my defensive film, they're now looking at me to play defensive end.
"After that he was like, we saw your film and that really got our attention," Ikard continued. "He then said once they got my transcripts, what really grabbed his attention was how much detail I spent on academics and that's what convinced him to offer me."
The Bishop McGuinness High standout now has offers from Notre Dame, Stanford, Oklahoma State and Tulsa. A three-year starter, he helped his team win its second-straight state title this fall, registering 69 tackles and seven sacks. In a very run-heavy offense, Ikard added 10 receptions for 150 yards and four touchdowns.
"I could care less what side of the ball I play on," Ikard stated. "Whatever the coaches want me to play is what I'll play."
Other schools showing interest are Nebraska, Purdue, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Carolina, Texas Tech and Kansas State, where his father played basketball.
Ikard wishes he could've come to Notre Dame's junior day on Sunday, and would like to see the campus for the first time in the near future.
"My friend's sister goes there and he goes to visit sometimes, so I'll probably just go with him," Ikard said. "I hope to come soon. I really want to check out the campus and go to a class or something."
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.