The Irish Staff Kept Ikard On The Horn

Just when Gabe Ikard thought he was done talking to a few Notre Dame representatives on the phone, another coach was waiting to get on the horn with him.

The defensive end prospect from Oklahoma City loved it.

"I talked to like six coaches including coach (Mike) Haywood and (head) coach (Charlie) Weis," Gabe Ikard said.

The 6-foot-4 ½, 250-pound Ikard is up to 10 scholarship offers now. The recruiting evaluation period started a couple weeks ago, allowing college coaches to contact each recruit one time. Notre Dame was the first to reach Ikard.

Ikard's talk with Weis, was the first time he's spoken with him since being offered back in February.

"He actually was just like, I know a lot about you, you don't even know what I know about you," Ikard began. "He said, you come from a good catholic family, you come from a good catholic school, and you haven't been out to Notre Dame. What the hell is that?!

"I told him it's not my fault. He said well tell your parents then."

Ikard relayed the message from Weis to his folks.

"I told my parents and they're going to try and get me out there this summer at least, and hopefully for a game or two next year."

Ikard said he will likely take an official visit to Notre Dame for the Stanford game next fall. His next time on the Irish campus will be his first.

Haywood made it out to Bishop McGuinness High last week to see Ikard and talk with his head coach.

"I definitely talk to him at least once a week," Ikard said. "It's just saying hi. He is just asking me how things are going, talking about the off-season. He talks a little bit about the practices and just what's going on over there."

A three-year starter, Ikard 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. Besides Notre Dame, he has been offered by Oklahoma State, Stanford, Kansas, Vanderbilt, Texas Tech, Rice, Tulsa and a couple more. Ikard said it's about 50/50 on whether those schools are recruiting him as a defensive end or tight end.

"I don't know yet," Ikard said of his preference. "Whatever school I go to, however they'll fit me into the system is what I'll do."

When Ikard was on the phone with the Notre Dame coaching staff, defensive coordinator Corwin Brown and defensive line coach Jappy Oliver got a chance to tell Ikard how he fits into their scheme.

"Coach Brown was just saying I needed to get out there to learn more about the program, and start looking at the defense I'm going to be playing in the next couple years," Ikard said.

"Coach Oliver said he really liked what he saw on my tape and that he is looking forward to meeting me. And if I came, I'd be the perfect fit for their defensive line."

The only offered programs Ikard has had a chance to visit is Stanford and Oklahoma State. He's not sure when he is going to start eliminating schools.

"I haven't really narrowed it down, but once I narrow it down, Notre Dame will definitely be in it."


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