Top draft selection changed mind about playing football

May 27, 2004, vol. 30, no. 3
By Steve Frost

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The second thing you notice about Ibrahim Khan is the ear-to-ear smile. He never seems to have a bad day.

The first thing you notice, of course, is his massive size. At 6-foot-4 and 305 pounds, Khan is a friendly giant.

As a youth growing up in Ottawa, Khan had little interest in playing football, only trying it after an older sister suggested it would be the perfect game for someone his size.

He ended up liking it and for the past five years he has started and starred for the Clan football team, this season lifting them to a first playoff win.

Khan was honoured for his play on the field by being selected Canada's top university lineman and as the number two pick in the Canadian Football League draft by his hometown team, the Ottawa Renegades.

“He had a tremendous impact on the field, no question,” says head coach Chris Beaton. “But the thing I'll always remember about Obby is how involved he was in the campus and how enthusiastic he was to be a student-athlete here.”

While playing varsity athletics and completing a kinesiology degree, Khan was also a familiar face on campus. He cheered on the other athletes at their home games, he gave the welcoming address to this past year's incoming freshman class and he was president of the student-athlete advisory council.

“I really wanted to enjoy campus life and to be a part of everything while I was here,” he says.

After arriving at SFU with the prestigious Jack Diamond entrance scholarship, Khan immediately felt a sense of community despite being so far from home. “When I came here it was like being welcomed into a big extended family,” he recalls. “It just felt like home. Now it feels like I'm leaving home again.”

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