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Journey to the Arena Dream: Lonnie Outlaw, WR/DB, West Texas

Updated at Mar 21, 2024

Get to know Lonnie Outlaw! The dynamic receiver for the West Texas War Hawks who is ready to make a splash in his return to the Arena Football League.

Lonnie Outlaw has paved his path as a legend of the arena game. His high level of production has made him a top guy on every roster he has been on. He is an AFL champion and will usurp a big role as a veteran leader in the upcoming season.

The Journey

Coming out of the 2015 draft, Outlaw gained the attention of the Atlanta Falcons and signed as a free agent. Things would not work out, as he was let go at the end of training camp. After another opportunity with the Seahawks, he would make his way into a prime situation in the AFL with the Philadelphia Soul. Most arena fans will know Outlaw from his years in Philly, where he was one of the top receivers and was a part of the 2016 Arena Championship team. After the Soul, he would go on to play with the Orlando Predators in the NAL, where he was a big part of the roster. After a few years in Orlando, he made his move to West Texas, and his decision to make the move came from an unexpected source.

The Predators are in a position where they have many returners. There has been a core group of players who have carried on and resigned over the past couple of years, including guys like Joshua Jenkins and Clarence Williams. So, with a system and teammates you know well, it would normally be an easy decision to resign. However, Outlaw says he felt stuck. He had become complacent in his position and was not progressing or playing to the caliber he should be. Interestingly, he says his decision to leave Orlando was inspired by Derrick Henry’s recent move to the Ravens. Seeing that such a tenured player could move to another team without being selfish allowed Outlaw the opportunity to move on from Orlando to try to improve himself.

“Yeah, I’m Lonnie Outlaw, but I wasn’t playing like Lonnie Outlaw.”

The West Texas Opportunity

With Outlaw wanting to shake things up and get back to a higher level of performance, he has picked a suitable place in West Texas. One piece of the Desert Hawks game he is especially excited about is new head coach Chris Siegfried. Coach Siegfried previously served as the commissioner of the NAL for the past seven years. Outlaw has touted how smart Coach Siegfried is and how advanced his knowledge of the game is. But, arguably, the biggest boost for his game coming this season is going to come from the star-studded West Texas quarterback room.

Anyone who has been keeping up with the preseason moves knows about the two massive pickups: Charles McCullum and Johnathon Bane. When it comes to legendary arena quarterbacks, the top 2 may very well be in Odessa this summer. Bane is the all-time leader in passing yards in the NAL and McCullum holds the same title in the IFL. Between the two, they have three championships, three MVPs, and 27 seasons played, but what does all this mean for Lonnie Outlaw? Well, in the new world of running quarterbacks, there stands these two giants who made their living throwing dimes. It is likely that the deep ball will be a large facet of the Desert Hawks game plan, causing a lot of one-on-one matchups. As long as Outlaw can get spacing, which we know he can do, he will be equipped with quarterbacks who can get him the ball.

“I’m very confident going into this season knowing I got quarterbacks that can put [the ball] in a place where only I can get it.”

Championship Expectations

As a former arena champion, Outlaw knows a thing or two about what a winning team looks like. When he looks back to the champion Philadelphia Soul, he thinks about the veteran presence on that team and how well rookies were able to take in advice to improve. The veteran presence is there in West Texas, so if the rookies take the time to learn from them, Outlaw thinks the season will take care of itself. He is also excited about the sheer amount of talent on the team, saying, “We’ve got talent at every point of the ball…if this guy gets hurt, we’ve got one more guy that can do the same thing as him.”

Tale of the Tape

Lonnie Outlaw will be one of the more physically imposing receivers in the AFL. Standing at 6-7 and with blazing speed, Outlaw will be a matchup nightmare for defenders. Look for him to be a dominant force over the course of this season. Over his previous two seasons in Orlando, Outlaw was a red zone monster, posting 11 touchdowns and 718 yards on 67 catches. Additionally, he made plays defensively. He totaled 4.0 sacks, 1 interception, and 15 tackles.

All of this goes along with an AFL stat line that pops in 2015 and 2019, both seasons he spent in Philadelphia.

lonnie outlaw stats.png Stats Courtesy of ArenaFan

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