Richard Harris knows a little about defensive linemen and he's happy to tell you Bombers rookie Don Oramasionwu is making a name for himself that will soon be heard across the land.

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This article was published 30/8/2009 (4690 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Bombers defensive lineman Don Oramasionwu has a calm demeanour, but his chiselled muscles are giving offensive linemen nasty first impressions in his rookie season.

RUTH.BONNEVILLE@FREEPRESS.MB.CA

Bombers defensive lineman Don Oramasionwu has a calm demeanour, but his chiselled muscles are giving offensive linemen nasty first impressions in his rookie season.

Richard Harris knows a little about defensive linemen and he's happy to tell you Bombers rookie Don Oramasionwu is making a name for himself that will soon be heard across the land.

The 290-pound graduate of the University of Manitoba Bisons program has made three starts at defensive tackle for the Bombers this season and according to Harris, is headed for big things in the CFL.

"Don is coming along. He came in last year and I wanted him to stay then, but he had a chance to go back to university and finish his education, so I was OK with that. But Don has come back with a different attitude. He's listened and he came back here ready to play," said Harris, who played defensive end for nine years in the NFL and has become a favourite coach in Winnipeg with his tough-love approach.

The 23-year-old Oramasionwu has six tackles, two sacks and one fumble recovery in his three starts. With defensive end Fred Perry out for the season due to a broken arm, it's likely the rookie will get more work.

"I didn't expect to have three starts by this point in my rookie season," said the soft-spoken Hercules, who has arms that would match the legs of some of his teammates. "You have to take advantage of what you get. I had the size last year but I had to adjust to the game speed and it hasn't taken me that long. My strength is my biggest asset."

Harris said Oramasionwu, who grew up in Windsor Park and still lives with his Nigerian-born parents, will develop into the kind of player that will make Doug Brown's eventual retirement much easier to swallow for the Bombers.

"His genetics are great. His parents and the fact that he's a very smart person. I call him the Silent Assassin. He'll look at you and smile and then rip your head off. He's strong as a bull. You've seen his body. He's worked on his speed and his meanness and that combination has put him in a league of his own. That combination allows me to say that he'll be the heir apparent for Doug Brown," stated Harris. "We started him last week and he did a great job. Don is playing out of this world. When he hits the field, he commands a lot of attention. He can play for any team in this league and I think he'll be the kind of impact player that Doug is."

Brown has his own nickname for Oramasionwu.

"We knew he had tools. He has a side of athleticism that usually doesn't come along with all those muscles," said Brown. "He's shown that he can go out there and compete in his first year of pro. He's doing very well. Whether he's starting or a regular in the rotation, he makes the most of it. I call him the meat tenderizer. When he goes in there for me, the guys are a lot softer and easier to move when I come back in."

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca