WINNIPEG - The only business left for Henoc Muamba to take care of is making an impression on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers coaching staff.
With rookie camp around the corner, the Blue Bombers inked the first overall pick in the 2011 CFL draft to a multi-year deal on Monday.
“I was confident, we were always on good terms and it was just a matter of getting to a deal,” Muamba said in a telephone interview from Missisauga, Ont. “The whole process of waiting for the official contract definitely started to make it feel more real than just the draft day and I’m sure it’s going to get to be more real as I get to training camp. It’s a great feeling. I’m happy to be in Winnipeg. This is the second time it’s official, I guess. I can’t wait to get to Winnipeg and do what I do best.”
What Muamba, the top defensive player in CIS in 2010, does best is fly around the field and make plays.
Although he is likely to spend most of his rookie season on special teams, Muamba’s long-term goal is to be a starting middle linebacker.
“I’m feeling good, I’m 100% and I’m ready to learn,” said Muamba. “I want to go in there and contribute to the team as much as I can. If it’s on special teams, then I’ll do that. I’m going to get my shot in camp to show what I’ve got. Hopefully, I’ll be able to show the linebackers coach and Coach LaPolice that I belong on the field and we’ll go from there.
“If you play football, you want to play. (Being a starter) is a goal of mine and to be able to impact the team and help the team in those terms is big.”
The signing of Muamba leaves fellow first rounder Jade Etienne (fourth overall) as the only Blue Bomber left unsigned from the 2011 Canadian player draft and that might not be for long.
“We’re very happy with the progress,” said Dan Vertlieb, who represents Etienne and expects him to be in camp by Wednesday.
Fellow receiver Kito Poblah, who was chosen by the Blue Bombers in the supplemental draft on Monday, is also expected to be in rookie camp on time.
“We all appreciate the importance and therefore are doing everything within our power to get Kito to the opening day of camp,” said Mark LeMire, who represents Poblah.
Rookie camp opens Wednesday, while veterans report for physicals on Saturday.