Ifeanyi Momah knew of Harold Carmichael before he arrived in Philadelphia for his workout with the Eagles.
At 6-7, 240, Momah had done his homework on other tall wide receivers, looking for a blueprint or two to follow. As he walked the hallways of the NovaCare Complex for the first time, he was stopped by Carmichael, the Eagles’ director of player programs.
“I already knew about him,” Momah said. “Obviously, me being a tall receiver, I know a whole bunch of other guys that have done it before me. I always knew about him, but I didn’t know he was physically here. And the first day I got here, he grabbed me and was telling me all about the things that I can work on after my workout. That was very exciting. And that’s when I realized, this is a very, very good connection to have.
“He went through the same exact things that I did, people telling him that he might not be able to play receiver like other shorter guys. And he showed them up and played receiver better than anybody else. Just to have him critiquing me and giving me feedback on things that I can work on has been a great advantage for me.”
Momah signed with the Eagles back in March, but it’s been while since he saw game action. He suffered a season-ending torn ACL in the 2011 opener with Boston College, applied for a sixth year of eligibility, but was denied. Momah has been spending his offseason at the NovaCare Complex and is excited about now being 100 percent healthy.
On March 20, he caught the attention of teams at his Pro Day performance, running a 4.45 40. That led to four private workouts with the Eagles, Saints, Steelers and Browns.
“With the offense, I wasn’t looking at the amount of receivers we had here,” Momah said. “I didn’t want that to be my decision. I wanted to look at the future and the offense and how I can grow in the offense. And just seeing the kind of offense that they’re running here, I feel like I can definitely grow and reach my full potential here. That’s why I chose Philadelphia.”
It didn’t hurt that the Eagles had a familiar face in the building. Outside linebackers coach Bill McGovern served as Boston College’s defensive coordinator from 2009 to 2012. And he was BC’s linebackers coach from 2000 to 2008.
While Momah eventually settled on receiver, he saw some time at defensive end in college.
“He [McGovern] actually physically came to my house when I was in high school and recruited me,” said Momah, a Long Island native. “He came and told me they were going to offer me a scholarship to college. That’s pretty exciting that he’s here now and I can have that connection with him and try to talk to him a little bit when I have a couple questions.”
As for fit, the Eagles have some spots up for grabs at wide receiver. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin will occupy two of them, but nothing is guaranteed for guys like Jason Avant, Riley Cooper and Damaris Johnson. Momah and newcomer Arrelious Benn will have chances to stick.
Momah’s height/speed combination brings a different element to the group. And he played special teams in college.
Even though he has some tight end attributes, Momah said he’s being used exclusively as a wide receiver right now. But it doesn’t hurt that he has the skill set to move around the formation, run block and be a big target downfield.
“I’ve been here for about a month now. I’ve been really working my behind off,” Momah said. “And I feel like I’m getting back to myself. I feel like I’m fast again, and my knees are strong, no injuries plaguing me, so I feel good.”