Season 26 of Dancing with the Stars premieres Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC

By Brianne Tracy
April 30, 2018 05:13 PM

Dancing with the Stars winner Rashad Jennings is returning to the ABC reality series for the all-athletes season — but this time, as a judge!

The former NFL running back, who won season 24 of the show with his dancing pro partner Emma Slater, will appear as a guest judge on the May 7 episode.

“[I’m] super excited about the DWTS: Athletes Season!” Jennings, 33, tells PEOPLE exclusively. “I get to be back in the ballroom and see things from a safer perspective! Glad I don’t have to worry about pointing my toes or heel-leads!”

Credit: Adam Rose/ABC/Getty Images

Competing this season are former Olympic figure skaters Tonya Harding, Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu; NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Olympic snowboarder Jamie Anderson and luger Chris Mazdzer; Notre Dame’s national championship hero Arike Ogunbowale; former pro softball player Jennie Finch Daigle; retired professional baseball outfielder Johnny Damon; and Washington Redskins’ cornerback Josh Norman.

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Along with the change in casting, this season will feature a revamped set with a glittering jumbotron hanging above the ballroom floor in place of the usual giant mirror ball. The mirrorball trophy has also been updated to feature the word “Athletes.”

Credit: ABC/Lou Rocco

Aside from his guest judge appearance, Jennings is gearing up to release his debut book, The IF in Life: How to Get Off Life’s Sidelines and Become Your Best Self, on May 8. The book chronicles his journey from being an overweight kid to becoming a record-setting running back who has played with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Oakland Raiders, and the New York Giants.

Season 26 of Dancing with the Stars premieres Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.