LIONS BOLSTER OFFENSIVE LINE WITH SIGNING OF JABARI BUCKLEY
by Alex Husting
With only 14 days remaining before the 2022 NAL season begins, the Columbus Lions have bolstered their offensive line in a big way, signing for Jacksonville Shark Jabari Buckley. Buckley is one of the best offensive lineman in the NAL and has won championships at every level.
Buckley was signed by the Sharks in early June of the 2021 season and made an immediate impact, taking over the right guard position and dominating the line of scrimmage on his way to a Second Team All-NAL selection.
He was also a key part of the Sharks’ NAL Championship run in 2019, leading the way for a Jacksonville offense that ran for 298 yards, third in the NAL, and 25 touchdowns which led the league. The Sharks finished the season 15-1 overall, champions of the NAL and Buckley earned First Team All-NAL honors.
Before his time with the Sharks, Buckley played for the Albany Empire in 2018, the team’s first in the Arena Football League(AFL).
Before joining the Empire, Buckley signed with the Sioux Fall Storm of the Indoor Football League(IFL). During his lone season there, the Storm finished the season with a 14-2 record, won their conference and earned a berth in the United Bowl.
His first two seasons of arena football came with the Omaha Beef and the Chicago Eagles of the Champions Indoor Football League(CIFL).
The veteran offensive lineman attended Bethel University before transferring to Belhaven University, where he started eight games as an offensive lineman during his senior season. During his time at Bethel, Buckley helped lead the team to a conference championship and blocked for one of the top rushing attacks in the conference.
With the new NAL Ironman rules, Buckley will be playing on offense and defense, but that should not be a problem for the 6’6” 320 lb. lineman who could make an immediate impact in the trenches. He is one of the most experienced lineman in all of the NAL and could help revitalize a Lions’ running game that struggled with consistency during the 2021 season.
ABOUT THE COLUMBUS LIONS
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 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 sixth season in 2022. For more information regarding expansion opportunities or partnerships, contact Commissioner Chris Siegfried at firstname.lastname@example.org For more information about the NAL visit www.nationalarenaleague.com, facebook.com/nationalarenaleauge, twitter.com/NALfootball, Instagram.com/nationalarenaleague.