Villanova football alumnus, J.J. Outlaw has followed an unusual career path, but one that mimics his father's successful trajectory. After a successful college career ended, the Class of 2006 graduate signed a free agent deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, attending two training camps and with a stint in the now-defunct NFL Europa between them.
After cutting his professional football career short, Outlaw changed directions, returning to a sport he excelled at in high school — basketball. Outlaw eventually landed a job as Director of Basketball Operations for Marist University, where he has been since June 2010, eventually parlaying that opportunity into a promotion to assistant coach.
Now, he will take on a new role, as a video coordinator with the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA. As
When Outlaw first arrived on campus as a football recruit, he had plans to try and walk on to the basketball team. It is traditionally difficult to play both football and basketball, but Andy Talley has rarely shied away from allowing a driven student-athlete to pursue a second sport. He even went as far as to ask Rollie Massimino to help him recruit Mike Possenti (G, 1988-91) who walked on to the team as a freshman. Massimino also pulled Greg Downs (WR, 1986-90) onto his squad as a walk-on.
Outlaw never did join the basketball roster at Villanova, instead deciding to concentrate fully on being a successful receiver for Andy Talley's program. He led Villanova in receiving in each of his final three seasons on the Main Line and is currently 4th in school history for career receptions and 6th in receiving yards.
Still, Outlaw never really walked away from the game of basketball. He was a fixture of campus pick-up games, and never lost his passion for the game. He was a four-year starter at guard in high school and a three-year All-League selection in the Baltimore Catholic League, even had a few options to play college basketball.
Outlaw's father, John Outlaw, took a similar path. After playing college football at Jackson State, John spent four years playing for the New England Patriots (1968-72) and six years with the Philadelphia Eagles (1972-78) of the NFL. After his football career ended, his dad found a career in the NBA, working for the Denver Nuggets, Washington Wizards and Charlotte Bobcats.
It was practically fate that J.J. Outlaw would end up chasing an NBA dream of his own after growing up around the league.