Columbus, Ga (WRBL) – Damian Daniels is a Columbus Lions legend. The man they called “The Nighthawk” is the all-time interceptions leader in franchise history. After he officially retired from the game, the Lions retired his #4. “The Nighthawk” stayed close with the Lions and eventually was hired as their defensive coordinator this season.

As the Lions approach the home stretch of the season, and look to secure a spot in the post season, Coach Daniels will put down the whistle and put on some pads for the rest of the regular season.

“Hey I’ve been having this itch for about 5 or 6 years man so why not scratch it? I could have played, even when I retired, I had some years left so it’s not like I’m too old. I still got a little juice left.”

Damian Daniels – Columbus Lions defensive coordinator and defensive back

Columbus’ defensive backfield has been hamstrung by injuries. Instead of going on frantic search for a free agent player in the last weeks of the season, Coach Daniels decided to step up.

“Me and Jason Gibson talked about it and it was like hey do you want to get somebody off the street? Might as well get that #4 back out,” said Daniels.

That was more than enough to convince Lions head coach Jason Gibson.

“You know he came to me and said basically I can help this team win a championship. What am I going to say no?,” said Gibson.

During Daniels’ first week of practice, head coach Gibson couldn’t hide his excitement of seeing the legendary defensive back’s return on the turf. He says “The Nighthawk” doesn’t have much rust to knock off.

“He looks like the dude hanging in the rafters. Being a vet in this game, and knowing this game that’s what’s key is knowing where you have to be before it actually happens. That’s what he’s got.”

Jason Gibson – Columbus Lions head coach

The Lions are currently in the middle of a heated race for the final playoff spot in the NAL. Columbus has never missed the post season during their time in the NAL. For this final push head coach Gibson says adding a veteran like Daniels just makes their defense even better.

“We already had a really good defense. Then all of a sudden you add that to the mix, it just adds depth. It adds experience. It adds a championship caliber player,” said Gibson.

This might look like a publicity stunt on the surface. Daniels wants to help a team bring another title, because this organization has already given him so much.

“Everything they have done for me you know over these years, over my whole career. You know I want to give them that back. I gave them three championships already and hopefully I can give them a fourth,” said Daniels.

The next test for the Lions is a road game against the Carolina Cobras on Saturday, July 16th.