Lions sign veteran center Shawn Lockett

by Alex Husting

One week after re-signing the NAL MVP, the Columbus Lions have strengthened the protection for their quarterback with the signing of veteran arena football center Shawn Lockett. Lockett has been a crucial part of a number of high-powered offenses in his arena football career.

The veteran center attended American International College and was a defensive lineman and offensive lineman for the Yellow Jackets.

He got his start in arena football with the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks during the inaugural NAL season. Lockett was an integral part of an offense that dominated the league on the way to a 9-1 record and quarterback Warren Smith won the NAL MVP that season. Lockett also joined the Philadelphia Soul that year as well.

Following the 2017 season, Lockett joined the Albany Empire in the AFL, working with Tommy Grady for the first time. Lockett would leave after the season but he returned to Albany in 2021 for what would be the best season of his career. 

With Lockett running the offensive line, Albany had the best rushing attack in the NAL and won the NAL Championship in their first ever NAL season. Lockett also earned First Team All-NAL in his first season in the league.

Now as he heads to Columbus, the Lions are excited to have a veteran center to protect Mason Espinosa and coordinate the offensive line.

“When you have the best QB in the country, you have to make sure he is protected,” Lions head coach Jason Gibson said. “Shawn is a proven veteran and high character player that we value in Columbus. Can’t wait to get him here.”

With the new NAL Ironman rules, fans can expect to see Lockett on both sides of the ball which should be a smooth transition due to Lockett’s experience on defensive in college.

Season tickets for the 2022 NAL season are already on sale and can be found here. The full 2022 NAL schedule has been released and fans can check it out here.


The Columbus Lions are members of the National Arena League (NAL). Founded in 2007, the Columbus Lions are starting their 16th season in 2022. The Lions are a 3x league champion and 14 playoff appearances in their rich history. The Lions play their home games at Hughston Field in the Columbus Civic Center. Lions Season Ticket Memberships are on sale now call (706) 322-3336 or visit Follow the Lions on Facebook at, twitter @columbuslions and


The National Arena League was founded in 2016 and hosted its inaugural season in 2017 as the premier league in arena football. The National Arena League will kick off its sixth season in 2022. For more information regarding expansion opportunities or partnerships, contact Commissioner Chris Siegfried at For more information about the NAL visit,,,