Many had their doubts about former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson Jr., but he proved himself a fierce competitor and dedicated student during the Season 23 premiere of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”

Before hitting the ballroom with partner Lindsay Arnold, Johnson revealed that he’s read a lot of doubtful tweets and articles in the weeks leading up to his “DWTS” debut. In fact, his own sister opened up about her former pro-baller brother’s lack of rhythm in an interview. Lindsay quickly realizes she’s got her work cut out for her. Her fears grow when she assesses her partner, taking notice of his size 15 feet. With the odds stacked against them, Lindsay and Calvin got right to work.

They are shown mastering their moves — with only a few minor flubs here and there — and prepping to suit up in custom made sporty sequin outfits for their very first routine. The two perform an impressive cha cha to 5 Seconds of Summer’s rendition of “What I Like About You.” While their routine is far from flawless, it is enough to have won over the hearts of fans and the judges.

Calvin and Lindsay score two sevens and two sixes, giving them a 26 out of 40 overall. It remains unclear if the pair are safe from elimination — fans will have to tune in next week to find out which of the “DWTS” pairs will be exiting the ballroom for good.

Another live episode of “DWTS” airs Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC. The first elimination will premiere the following day.