The exciting news was revealed on Good Morning America on Tuesday. The 43-year-old athlete is paired with returning dance pro Cheryl Burke, and it sounds like things are already going smoothly in rehearsals.
"We [practiced] a few hours the other day," Burke said. "I have to say, he's got some rhythm. We gotta start from the beginning because he's never danced before."
"He's all about lights camera action," she added. "He's a performer, so I'm definitely going to use that to our advantage. As long as we do the work in the dance studio and really practice hard, then he can do whatever he likes on the dance floor. Not whatever... stick to the choreography."
Owens agreed, telling GMA, "It's gonna be a challenge."
"Just as she said yesterday, we got our first start at trying to learn some steps. So, that's the challenge," the former wide receiver admitted. "Rhythm is not the issue. It's really trying to incorporate everything that she's teaching. I'm just going to let her take the lead. I'm just going to follow. I'm learning pretty fast."
And if past NFL stars on DWTS are any indication of how Owens will do, he's got a pretty good chance at winning the mirror ball trophy. Last year's football pro, Rashad Jennings, took home the season 24 prize with his partner, Emma Slater, and the last wide receiver featured on the show, Calvin Johnson, placed third with Lindsay Arnold during season 23. First place finishers from the NFL include Hines Ward (season 12), Donald Driver (season 14) and Emmitt Smith (season 3).
"I think the timing just came about at the right time," said Owens, who says the dance floor is his "playing field" right now. "I didn't have much going on at the moment. I had a couple of options and when they said that Cheryl would probably be my partner I was like, 'Alright, cool!'"
"I know a number of my friends, and obviously teammates, have gone on to participate in this thing," he continued. "One of my buddies, Ocho Cinco, I watched him [during season 10]. I talked to him a bit when he first got on there. He told me it was a lot of work but I expect nothing different."
"This will be a challenge for me, definitely," he added. "Not in my wheelhouse. I danced as a little kid but this is nothing like what I'm gonna expect I'm sure."
Owens, famously known as T.O., was selected in the third round of the 1996 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Over the course of his professional career, he also played with the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Allen Wranglers and Seattle Seahawks. His 15,934 career receiving yards rank second in NFL history and his 153 receiving touchdowns rank third.
This is Burke's 20th season competing as a pro on DWTS, and her third time with an NFL star. She was paired with Emmitt Smith during the show's third season, and Owens' pal Chad Ochocinco during season 10. She has two mirror ball trophies.