Chad Ochocinco and T.O. practice at SMC

Former National Football League players Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson and Terrell Owens practiced with prospective athletes on the football field of Santa Monica College on Tuesday.

Johnson was a student at SMC from 1997 to 1999, and spoke to what it felt like to be back.

“I’m back here, back to my roots how it all started, trying to remember what it took me to get to where I fell from,” Chad Johnson said. “This is where it all started, so I’m back to it.”

The practice session was organized by Jeff Johnson and Jay Tatum, owners of a company called Elite Athletes. Jeff Johnson, who trained with Chad Johnson, said his company works with young athletes to “keep kids off the streets.”

“We like to use sports to wheel them in to get their attention and then of course send them out to the right sources,” Jeff Johnson said.

Students were lined up on the football field, smartphones and tablets in tow, trying to catch a glimpse of the players before being dispersed by athletic director Joe Cascio.

Neither Chad Johnson nor Jeff Johnson ruled out a repeat visit to SMC for future workouts.

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