The duo of TJ Houshmandzadeh and Chad Ochocinco Johnson of the 2000 Oregon State Beavers would eventually become the all-star core of the NFL franchise, the Cincinnati Bengals. Exactly how these two young men from opposite ends of the country (California and Florida) would find themselves playing on the same football teams at the college and professional level is a completely random coincidence.
Oregon State, located in Carvallis, OR, has a respectable football program that occasionally places players on NFL teams. In the case of Pro Bowl wide receivers Johnson and Houshmandzadeh, who played together on the Oregon State Beavers team in the fall of 2000, having two all-star NFL wide receivers in the same group on a college team is rare. rare for any school, even the most established powers. The sheer improbability of having that much talent in an offense is especially rare for a mid-level organization like the Oregon State Beavers.
While playing together for the Beavers in 2000, Chad Johnson was largely the one who dominated the spotlight during a prolific season in which the two future NFL stars led their team to an impressive 11-1 finish that included an victory over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. held in Phoenix. After successfully garnering the attention of NFL scouts while playing together at Carvallis for one season, the wide receiver duo randomly landed on the same pro team at the end of the April 2001 NFL Draft.
The Cincinnati Bengals selected Chad Johnson (who would later change his name to Chad Ochocinco in 2008) with the 36th overall pick in the second round and TJ Houshmandzadeh with the 204th overall pick in the seventh round. Despite a significant amount of offensive success over the next eight seasons under quarterback Carson Palmer, the wide receiver duo of Ochocinco (Johnson) and Houshmandzadeh parted ways on March 2, 2009 when TJ signed a contract to leave Cincinnati. and play with the Seattle Seahawks. The March 2009 signing marked the first time in nearly a decade that Chad (from Miami, FL) and TJ (from Barstow, CA) were not on the same team.
To give readers who are not very familiar with college or professional football a proper perspective on just how unusual the situation was with Chad Ochocico Johnson and TJ Houshmandzadeh, it should be noted that a repeat of similar circumstances has not occurred anywhere. another place in professional football since then. Chad and TJ teamed up from opposite sides of the country (Florida and California) on the Oregon State campus in 2000. The two standout players are arguably the best combination of wide receivers to bring their collective playmaking ability from college to the professionals together.