Pre-Season Q&A With Lions WR Lonnie Outlaw
By: Alex Husting
This weekend I got to talk with Lonnie Outlaw, a 6’6” receiver out of Miles College who will bring an incredible amount of experience and size to the Lions this season.
You’ve been playing football most of your life, so how's it been with everything being sort of put on hold because of COVID for the last year and a half?
A. “It’s been difficult, you have to find a different hobby other than football to keep yourself active and not think about that football is not around. So, me personally, I had to find a new hobby, something that could keep me active and not thinking about football, which would be depressing, because, you know, being out of football is kind of hard for people that played football all their life. So another way to make your day go by even smoother man, that was, that was probably the hardest thing about being out with football.”
What were some of the things you did to keep yourself busy and in shape over that time?
A. “I used to work out in the backyard with logs, bricks, stuff like that, do a little cardio around the house. But other than that, I had to find another job, which was a job and I called backpedal, we build bikes for all the Walmart’s of the East Coast. So that was a good thing for me to always travel up the East Coast, build bikes for little kids, which is a positive thing for me, because I'm giving back to the little kids. So, that was the good thing about it.”
So could you tell me a bit about how you went from the Philadelphia Soul of the AFL to the Lions of the NAL just like how you got to Columbus?
A. “Well, I live in Florida right now, but my son lives in Georgia. With me being out transferring from Philly to Georgia, it was a big difference. Because, you know, you don't have those arena football fans as far as Philadelphia because I played five years in Philadelphia. So the fans showed me great love. I have much love in the city. So, you know, it's kind of difficult because I'm from Georgia, but I wasn't born around the Columbus area though. It's going to be kind of different for me. But I'm going to try to bring the same atmosphere that I brought from Philly to Columbus.”
What exactly drew you to play for the Lions in Columbus?
A. “First of all, I want to give a great shout out to Coach Gibson, he was a great influence on me signing to the Columbus Lions. With that being said, my son was in Georgia so with the Arena Football League opting out and then folding and the only thing left being the IFL and NAL. I can't sit out another season and my son lives in Georgia, and then the great thing about that is I get to bring him to the game. He didn't get to be around me while I played the game of football so that was a big plus for me. And then Coach Gibson gave me the leeway to you know, bring him to practice and bring him to games, so that's always a positive for me if my son can be around while I play the game of football. So I want to give a shout out. I appreciate you Mr. Gibson.”
Do you have any other goals for this upcoming season?
A. “Really just to teach the kids. to teach the younger guys, to go hard in practice, to bring enthusiasm to practice to make the game easier. Because if we come into practice full throttle, the game will be nothing to you. I brought that from Philly, just because when I was out in Philly, we never had days off or where we’d lollygag to practice. So I want to bring that same intensity to practice that I brought from Philly to Columbus.”
Will you be one of the veteran receivers on the roster for Columbus this year?
A. “Yes, sir. I will be one of the veteran receivers on the roster. I'm looking forward to it. I like the challenge, you know, because I'm being challenged to teach the kids, to teach the younger guys that are younger than me, the game of Arena Football. So, at the end of the day, it's going to be a challenge and also going to be a great experience because I'm also going to be coaching, not coaching, but coaching the players up to run routes so they don't have any indicators. And that's going to be a big key coming from outside, coming from college football you always got to indicate a step, you got to indicate a step to show which way you're going to break as a receiver. So, with that being said, I try to get my receivers and get my guys that can listen to me to know to eliminate the indicator steps, and we'll be just fine, man run. Eliminate the indicator steps, run, just run.”
You talked about how, you know you missed football with this last year, a year and a half. So what are you most excited about for this upcoming season?
A. “Just to get around a team again, build great chemistry and most of all, man, win a championship. That's the whole thing about it, to win that chip.”
With the regular season on the horizon, Lonnie Outlaw hopes to be a leader not only on the field but in the locker room as the Lions are hoping for championship success after over a year away from the game.
ABOUT THE COLUMBUS LIONS
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.
ABOUT NATIONAL ARENA LEAGUE
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 email@example.com For more information about the NAL visit www.nationalarenaleague.com, facebook.com/nationalarenaleauge, twitter.com/NALfootball, Instagram.com/nationalarenaleague.