Houston Roughnecks head coach CJ Johnson recalls Andre Johnson's collegiate and high school days

Saturday, February 10, 2024
Houston Roughnecks head coach CJ Johnson reflects on Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Andre Johnson's 'amazing' early years
Houston Roughnecks head coach CJ Johnson was actually Andre Johnson's position coach in college. With news of Andre becoming the Texans' first Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee, CJ told ABC13 on Andre's early collegiate and high school sports career.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The day after we learned Houston Texans icon Andre Johnson has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, his college coach told ABC13 that he knew Dre was special. However, he just didn't know if the future Hall of Fame receiver would play that position or even play football at all.

"He was right up the street from us since he went to Miami High," CJ Johnson recalled, the current Houston Roughnecks head coach who worked at the University of Miami from 1996 to 2005 - where Andre was a standout from 2000 to 2003.

"Just to watch Andre play basketball in high school - it was amazing," CJ shared. "I said, he's a basketball player and he's not going to play football. And here's the funny part: he was actually a quarterback in high school. So, I knew he was a great athlete, but I didn't know if he could catch or not. But once we got him on campus, he was so physically imposing, he looked like a grown man the first day he got there."

CJ says Andre was such a great teammate that despite leading the Hurricanes in touchdown catches during the 2001 season, he begged the coaches to allow him to play on the kickoff team in the National Championship game.

"He was on a kickoff team running down, making tackles in the National Championship game," CJ noted. "He had great family backing, and he always wanted to be a great football player. He did anything for greatness. That's what I appreciate about him the most."

SEE ALSO: Houston Roughnecks head coach CJ Johnson visits ABC13 ahead of UFL training camp

Andre is not the only newly-elected Hall of Famer to be coached by CJ, either. Devin Hester, also part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's class of 2024, also played for Johnson at Miami.

"It's a very humbling experience to be just around guys that were at the top of their games at the highest level," Johnson admitted. "When those guys came in, they had work to do. They weren't just self- made guys, but man they were good people and good young men. I am truly blessed to be able to say those guys were part of my life. They truly blessed me."

RELATED: NFL Honors 2024: Texans' Stroud and Anderson sweep rookie awards; Andre Johnson is Canton-bound

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