By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — A day after Oklahoma center Gabe Ikard was honored for what he does on the field as a first-team selection on the All-Big 12 team, he was recognized for his work away from it.
Ikard was named the recipient of the 2013 Wuerffel Trophy, given annually by the All-Sports Association of Fort Walton Beach to the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.
“This is a tremendous honor, just overwhelming,” Ikard said in a statement. “When you consider all that this trophy represents from academic achievement to athletic achievement along with community service, I think this definitely ranks up there as the biggest honor I’ve received.
“Coach (Bob) Stoops
consistently preaches to us about being active in the community and being dedicated in the classroom, and to receive this honor is unbelievable. I’ve been fortunate to have been given an amazing platform as a student-athlete, and I’m proud to be standing here today.”
Ikard has started 51 games in his career, including every game at center for the Sooners this season. He was named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award recipient and a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy. Ikard was also named a midseason All-American by USA Today, Sports Illustrated and CBSSports.com.
The senior graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average in multidisciplinary studies — biological sciences in May. He is currently pursuing a second undergraduate degree at OU in human relations.
“When I spoke with Danny Wuerffel earlier, I told him that they could not have picked a better person for this award,” OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said in a statement. “Gabe is the personification of leadership. From the moment he stepped on campus, he has always been an example of what a student-athlete should be.”
Ikard is also a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. He was also named 2013 CoSIDA Academic All-District and received the 2013 Gerald Lage Award, the highest academic award given by the Big 12 Conference. He also was given the 2013 Dan S. Petty Scholar-Athlete Award, presented by the Cotton Bowl Association.
The Wuerffel Trophy is named after former Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel, who quarterbacked Florida to the 1996 national championship.
“I’m thrilled that Gabe is the 2013 winner of the Wuerffel Trophy,” Wuerffel said in a statement. “His success on the field and in the classroom along with his countless hours of sacrificial service make him an ideal recipient. He stands for everything the trophy is about, and he’ll be an excellent addition to the fraternity of former winners.”
Ikard will be presented with the Wuerffel trophy at the All Sports Association’s annual banquet on Feb. 7.
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