Cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu had a simple question for team doctors on Monday. He liked the response he got.
A fourth-round pick in 2008 out of Wisconsin, Ikegwuonu's rookie season was lost after he tore the ACL in his right knee during a pre-combine workout. The Eagles knew this, but decided to take a flier on him anyway. Why? The two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection was a likely first-round pick before the injury.
Now, the Eagles get to see if their gamble will pay off. Ikegwuonu wanted to know when he could finally suit up and practice with his teammates. He was told by team doctors on Monday that he should be ready for the post-draft mini-camps in May.
"They see me ready for mini-camps. I'm going to take it slow, but I'm going to work as hard as I can," Ikegwuonu said after his workout. "That's the most important thing is to get as much work as I can in on the knee, work on knee stabilization and focus on that right leg. I think that's going to be the most important thing. If I'm in mini-camps, I'm in mini-camps. If not, I'm definitely going to be ready for training camp."
Ikegwuonu also said that the right knee feels just as good as when he was in college, but added that overall he is in the "best shape of his life." In three years with the Badgers, Ikegwuonu finished with 91 tackles, 29 pass deflections and six interceptions with one returned for a touchdown in 39 career games. Before last year's draft, Ikegwuonu's physical play drew comparison to former Eagle and two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Al Harris.
With the past year spent rehabbing and learning the defense in the film room, Ikegwuonu learned that being a professional is all about hard work. He believes that he's been given the "greatest opportunity in the world." Should Ikegwuonu be as good as he was in college, there is an opening for the dime cornerback position that was vacated when Lito Sheppard was traded to the New York Jets.
"If the coaches want me there, then I'm ready to go," Ikegwuonu said.