Calvin Johnson in new animated series

Calvin Johnson on his character: "He's a cool, real smooth, chill, laid-back kind of guy like me." Courtsey of Nickelodeon

"NFL Rush Zone: Season of the Guardians," an original half-hour animated series will debut tonight at 9 p.m. on Nicktoons with an encore on NFL Network, Saturday at 7:00 a.m. Check out a clip here.

In the series premiere, "Lions, Texans & Turkeys, Oh My!" kid protagonist Ishmael is aided on his mission by Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who voices his animated persona.

"Being a fan of cartoons from a young age motivated me to be in the series. Being able to have my voice as a part of one is a cool thing," Johnson told Playbook in a statement. "Kids love their NFL athletes. I believe that having an animated series may bring them a little closer to the game of football."

Next in "Change of Plans," Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware lends his voice and helping hand. The Houston Texans and Washington Redskins are also featured prominently in Friday’s episodes.