The Lions are signing Darien Townsend, a wide receiver from Youngstown State and Marian University. Townsend will add speed on both sides of the ball as a wide receiver and a defensive back.

He got his start at Youngstown Christian high school where he was named a First-team All-Northeast Inland District Division VII honoree as a senior and amassed more than 1,000 total offensive yards each season at the school.

After graduating from Youngstown Christian, Townsend stayed home, attending Youngstown State University. During his freshman season, he played in 10 games, primarily as a member of the special teams unit, with limited action in the offense.

His sophomore year saw an expanded role as a reserve wide receiver, appearing in 11 games and finishing with 10 catches for 99 yards.

The next year, Townsend took a major step forward and Youngstown State experienced a resurgence. The junior wide receiver became a full-time starter, catching 32 passes for a team-high 525 yards and 6 touchdowns. 

He also was the primary punt returner for the Penguins, returning 25 punts for 297 yards, the highest in Youngstown State history, and one touchdown. Townsend even returned 10 kickoffs for 194 yards. His 1,094 all-purpose yards was the most on the team and the Penguins made it back to the FCS championship game for the first time in 17 years.

Following the 2016 season, Townsend transferred to Marian University, redshirting the 2017 and never played in 2018.

Now he is heading to Columbus to join the Lions. The versatile wide receiver joined the Lions for training camp last season, but did not make the regular season roster.

He is signing with the Lions during the new era of NAL Ironman rules and Townsend will be contributing as a defensive back along with his role as a wide receiver.

“He was in camp last season, tremendous speed and we are excited to get him back,” said head coach and director of football operations Jason Gibson.

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


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