Both sides happy

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:20 AM ET

GM Brendan Taman was more than a little shocked to hear that Obby Khan wanted to be picked by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and nobody else.

The 6-foot-3, 304-pound offensive lineman was downright giddy yesterday after being plucked by the Bombers in the first round -- second overall -- in the Ottawa Renegades dispersal draft.

"Winnipeg is the best situation for me," said Khan. "When all this was going down, I said, 'I hope I go to Winnipeg. I don't want to go anywhere else,' just with all the friends I have out there and the way the organization is being run right now."

The Bombers are just as excited to have him. In fact, Taman had already begun contract extension talks with Khan, who is entering his option year, before the draft.

Even though the 25-year-old was born and bred in Ottawa and spent his first two CFL seasons in the nation's capital, Khan has "no mixed feelings" about the move.

His two college roommates from Simon Fraser University live in Winnipeg, and he's good friends with Bomber linebacker Neil McKinlay, who was his teammate with the Clan.

"Whenever you see a team fold, it's never good," Khan said. "It leaves a bad feeling in your mouth, especially when you play for that team and especially when that team's your hometown. My parents and family are taking it a lot harder.

"I'm excited. This is a great day for me."

Khan's real first name is Ibrahim, but he has been called Obby ("It's Bobby without the B," he said) since he was in kindergarten. Perhaps the Renegades coaching staff didn't know how to pronounce his name last season, because they didn't always call it.

He played the first six games of the season at right tackle but missed the next four with a knee injury. He was a healthy scratch for the next six games before dressing for the final two.

He was a left tackle during his playing days at SFU, but he's versatile enough to play either tackle or guard.

"Whatever the coaches want me to play, I'm ready to play," he said. "I don't really have a pick, per se, of any one. Inside's a little more physical. I like getting physical, I like getting dirty, I like hitting people.

"Outside's a little more finesse, but I believe I have the athletic ability to play that, too."


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