Ikard made sure to soak in the experience. From the victory to the atmosphere to being with his teammates a final time together, he enjoyed every moment.
“It hasn’t really hit me yet,” Ikard said the day after the Sugar Bowl, upon returning to campus. “I’m sure over next couple of days it will sink in. We won so I didn’t have to do the whole crying thing or anything like that, like the seniors last year.
So I got to enjoy Bourbon Street with my boys and some of the ex players. We definitely enjoyed the victory.. It was great. Other than winning the national championship, you can’t ask for a better way to go out. I had a great time and a fantastic trip.”
While injuries mounted and other seniors saw their seasons cut short, Ikard was a mainstay for the Sooners. In many ways, he became the face of the program. With his academic achievements and charm with the media, the Sooners were not bashful about trotting him out each week as the team’s spokesman.
“As smart as they come as a football player and obviously in the classroom, as well,” offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “He’s a guy that cares deeply about this program. It meant something for him to come here and play, it means something for him every day, and that’s why you see him prepare and practice the way he does every single day. He’s played at an extremely high level for four years.”
Ikard was recently named one of the Big 12 Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipients for the 2013 fall semester. It was just one of several postseason awards the Bishop McGuinness product has taken home in from his final season.
Those awards include the Capital One Academic All-America of the Year as well as his being the recipient of the 2013 Lee Roy Selmon Spirit Award.