Lonnie Outlaw wins NAL Most Improved Player Award

by Alex Husting

Three Columbus Lions took home major awards in the NAL this season including wide receiver Lonnie Outlaw, who won the 2021 NAL Most Improved Player Award. This award comes after Outlaw spent the previous five seasons in the AFL with the Cleveland Gladiators and the Philadelphia Soul.

During those five seasons, Outlaw caught a total of 70 passes for 856 yards and 21 touchdowns, playing in 31 games over that stretch. In his first season with the Lions, Outlaw has nearly equaled those numbers.

In only nine games, Outlaw has 62 receptions for 676 yards and 12 touchdowns, leading the Lions in both receptions and yards. He is ranked sixth or higher in the NAL in each category.

Outlaw has become a safety valve for Espinosa and the offense, with his 6’7” frame giving him an advantage in nearly every situation, the Lions will look to him for end zone fade routes or getting tough yards on crucial third down plays. 

Outlaw has been a consistent presence in the Lions offense throughout the season, and his best performances have come against the Albany Empire. Outlaw has exceeded 100 yards in three games this season, two of which were against the Empire. In two games, Outlaw has 21 receptions for 275 yards and five touchdowns. 

The Lions will be looking to Outlaw yet again this Saturday when they travel to New York to take on the Empire in the NAL Championship game. Outlaw has run rampant on the Empire defense so far this season and will be looking to do more of the same this Saturday. 

Kickoff for 2021 NAL Championship game is set for 7 p.m EST on August 14. The game can be watched live with CTV Beam, at https://www.nationalarenaleague.com/home or on the NAL’s official Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSzSD8STXiEVPVtUDO9juhA


The Columbus Lions are members of the National Arena League (NAL). Founded in 2007, the Columbus Lions are starting their 15th season in 2021. The Lions are a 3x league champion and 13 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 columbuslions.com. Follow the Lions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Lionsfootball/, twitter @columbuslions and instagram.com/Columbuslions.


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 fifth season in 2021. For more information regarding expansion opportunities or partnerships, contact Commissioner Chris Siegfried at chris@nationalarenaleague.com For more information about the NAL visit www.nationalarenaleague.com, facebook.com/nationalarenaleauge, twitter.com/NALfootball, Instagram.com/nationalarenaleague.