Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

March 13, 2014

Ikard takes it easy at OU pro day

NORMAN — It wasn't a make-or-break day for Oklahoma center Gabe Ikard, not after doing well at last month's NFL combine.

But he wanted to support his teammates at Oklahoma's pro day Wednesday — and answer any lingering questions scouts might have.

"I was pleased with my times at the combine, but I went through some footwork drills to show them I had been working hard," said Ikard, who is projected as a middle- to late-round pick. "But this was important for my teammates and I tried to help them prepare by giving them the knowledge I had gained at the combine."

Some two dozen players worked out for scouts, including running back Roy Finch. At just over 5-6 and 177 pounds, Finch knows he will have hard time being a regular position player at the pro level, so he worked with wide receivers as well as running backs and posted a 4.4-second time in the 40-yard dash.

"I want to show that I'm versatile," he said. "If you've been working at this and dreaming about it, it's going to show and you could tell today who was prepared."

Beau Blankenship was in a similar situation. The Oho University running back was not invited to the combine and was given the opportunity by Oklahoma's coaches to attend pro day in his hometown of Norman. The 5-8, 193-pound Blankenship was right behind Finch with a 40 time of 4.7 seconds and he impressed scouts by doing 27 reps in the bench press, second only to 300-pound Sooner lineman Bronson Irwin's 30.

"I was just trying to open some eyes," said Blankenship, who holds Ohio's single-season rushing record and planned to attend his school's pro day Thursday. "My nerves got to me a little so I didn't run as fast as I can, but I was pleased with the effort."

Linebacker Corey Nelson was stepping on a football field for the first time since tearing a chest muscle early in his senior season. Nelson was denied a medical hardship for another year of eligibility by the NCAA, so he started focusing his efforts on turning pro.

"The NCAA appeal set me back in preparing for this, but I think I showed the scouts I am 100 percent and I feel good about how I did today," said Nelson.

Other injured Oklahoma players Trey Millard and Aaron Colvin were not able to participate in the workouts, but are still considered candidates to be drafted in the later rounds in May.

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