It’s not springtime Oklahoma Sooners football unless a starter gets injured at practice. Well, that happened in record speed this weekend after the Sooners opened up practice on Saturday. On day two, a starter reportedly went down.
Late yesterday evening, SoonerScoop.com reported that center Gabe Ikard broke his hand during workouts. It was his snapping hand, so obviously this will result in no practicing. Spring practices have just begun, so Ikard may be back at practice at some point in a different position, probably as a guard.
Sophomore Ty Darlington will get to see more time with the starters as a result of Ikard’s injury. Darlington is more than ready to take on the role of starting center if he needs to. In 2012, Darlington was a third-string center behind Ben Habern and Ikard. Habern decided to retire from the sport before the season began due to ongoing issues with previous neck and back injuries.
The week before the game against the Baylor Bears, Ikard suffered a concussion and had to sit out, and head coach Bob Stoops had to go to Darlington to fill in. The true freshman got his first career start and even helped lead the Sooners to consecutive scoring drives. He had a couple mistakes — a false start or two — but other than that, he played great for a true freshman.
For those of you that haven’t had Darlington on your radar, the Florida native came out of Apopka High School as a four-star recruit across the boards. He was selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and was listed as the No. 2 center out of his class, as well as a top 30-player out of the state of Florida. He was ranked as the No. 163 overall player in the 2012 class.
So in the end, the offense is in good hands during spring workouts, regardless who is snapping the ball.