NORMAN — Former Oklahoma offensive lineman Gabe Ikard claimed his final collegiate prize on Thursday. The Big 12 Conference named him its male sportsperson of the year.
The award, which began in 2000-01, recognizes players who displayed an extraordinary degree of sportsmanship and community service during the academic year.
Criteria for the award are: examples of sportsmanship and ethical conduct, citizenship and academic achievement.
Ikard, who was also a two-time All-American at center, helped carry the Sooners to a Sugar Bowl win where due to injuries, he was the only starting offensive lineman to play his regular position in the game.
Ikard was also a leader in community service activities. He was named 2013 Big Man on Campus, an honor reserved for those who are among the best in academics, campus participation, leadership or community service.
The Oklahoma City native aided in relief efforts after the deadly Moore tornado last May. His civic honors include winning the 2013 Wuerffel Trophy, Selmon Spirit Award and Don Key Award. He was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, William V. Campbell Trophy and Bobby Bowden Award.
Ikard, who signed a free-agent contract with the Tennessee Titans in May, earned his bachelor’s degree in May 2013 with a 4.0 grade point average and special distinction honors. He was the Capital One Academic All-American of the Year for football and became the first OU football student-athlete to be named Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America three times.
He was selected to the Hampshire Honor Society by the National Football Foundation and received the NFF Scholar-Athlete Award.
Ikard was also the Big 12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year for football and earned an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship among other academic achievements.
Ikard became the fourth OU athlete to receive the award from the Big 12. However, he is the first football player. Blake Griffin (men’s basketball; 2008-09), Ashley Paris (women’s basketball; 2008-09) and Hollie Vise (women’s gymnastics; 2009-10) were the previous recipients.
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