Donny O far from home

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:32 AM ET

EDMONTON - For the first time in his life, Don Oramasionwu will play football for a team that isn’t from Winnipeg.

The Edmonton Eskimos defensive lineman met with media in his new city Thursday, one day after getting picked up on the opening day of free agency.

“I played my high-school ball, obviously, there. Pee wee ball there. I played university ball there,” said the Winnipeg native and University of Manitoba product who turns 26 the day after training camp opens on June 3. “So this is my first time actually playing ball outside of Winnipeg.

“I’ve been blessed in a way, I’ve got to play in front of my family and stuff like that, but it’s time for a change.

The six-foot-three, 289-pound defensive tackle joins an Eskimos family that has reunited him with some of his former coaches during his three years with the Blue Bombers, including Eskimos special-teams co-ordinator Rick Campbell and defensive co-ordinator Mark Nelson, not to mention head coach Kavis Reed.

“Coach Reed has reached out to me and has shown me that he’s wanted me and that’s a big thing for me,” Oramaisonwu said. “In the past, when I started my career, obviously I played with a chip on my shoulder when I get in the game and I have done that a couple times.

“They see that, and I’m just happier that they embraced it.”

Especially now that he’s out of the shadow of 11-year veteran and fan favourite Doug Brown.

“I’m ready to take this next step,” Oramasionwu said. “I played behind a legend for three years, I’ve learned a lot and I’m ready to get this ball rolling.”

While his parents are going to have to travel the 1,350 kilometres to see their son play home games now, Oramasionwu said they aren’t allowed to wear any Blue Bombers gear when the Eskimos play in Winnipeg.

“I’m going to put all that stuff in a box and do something with it,” he said.

AU REVIOR, ROD: Former Eskimos MLB Rod Davis signed with the Montreal Alouettes on Thursday. In three seasons with the Eskimos, the six-foot-four, 240-pound product of Southern Mississippi had 149 tackles, five sacks, five interceptions — two returned for touchdowns — and a pair of fumble recoveries.

Davis, who was estimated to be making $60,000 with the Eskimos last year, was reportedly offered $100,000 to stay but found a better deal in Montreal.

As for defensive end Greg Peach, who became a free agent on Wednesday, Eskimos general manager Eric Tillman said he isn’t ruling out the possibility of a return.

“There are still a couple of things that could play out,” he said in the Eskimos locker-room Thursday afternoon. “I talked to Greg Peach’s agent right before I came here.”

CARR AUDIO: At six-foot-six, 214 pounds, new Eskimos acquisition Greg Carr will have opposing defensive backs wishing for a step stool.

“There are a lot of things from a coaching standpoint, from a schematic standpoint you can do, but you can’t coach six-six,” said Tillman. “You either are, or you aren’t.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

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