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Mercilus once star struck by Andre Johnson

Whitney Mercilus can't help but laugh at his favorite memory of Andre Johnson.

The six-year veteran pass rusher strikes fear in the minds of opposing quarterbacks. He's not usually the one to get nervous, except for that one time Johnson spoke to him.

"The best moment of me remembering Dre was when I pulled my hamstring," Mercilus said. "I want to say it was my second year in 2013 in the summer and we sat down in the meal room. I sat down right across from Dre and he turned to me and said, 'Man, was that you who went down?'" I was like, oh my gosh. Dre just talked to me. He's a legend."

Mercilus played it cool, of course.

"I was like, 'Yeah that was me.' I was trying to contain the excitement in me at that moment because man, that's Andre Johnson. That's the man and he doesn't talk. So when he did, I was like, he knows me?"

Mercilus definitely knew about Johnson from his playing days as a Miami Hurricane as well as from watching ESPN highlights every week. The two went on to talk more after that first conversation, sometimes even discussing college football games while in the training room.

Mercilus, drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, played three seasons with the two-time All-Pro wide receiver.

"I think one of the reasons why I was so star struck or whatever was because Andre Johnson has done a lot for this organization," Mercilus said. "Great guy to know, once you get to know him past him being quiet and all that. You just understand the type of guy that he is and what he brings to the locker room, and just him as a human being."

The Texans will honor Andre Johnson during Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals. The franchise's all-time leading wide receiver will become the first member of the Houston Texans Ring of Honor.

The kids from Houston Texans YMCA hosted Andre Johnson a retirement party with special guests Chester Pitts, Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson.

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