J. J. Watt

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J. J. Watt
Watt in 2012.
No. 99     Houston Texans
Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1989-03-22) March 22, 1989 (age 25)
Place of birth: Waukesha, Wisconsin
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Weight: 290 lb (132 kg)
Career information
High school: Pewaukee (WI)
College: Wisconsin
NFL Draft: 2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11
Debuted in 2011 for the Houston Texans
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 2, 2014
Tackles 219
Quarterback sacks 37.5
Passes defensed 28
Forced fumbles 8
Receiving TD(s) 1
Stats at NFL.com

Justin James Watt[2] (born March 22, 1989) is an American football defensive end for the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Wisconsin. He was drafted 11th overall by the Houston Texans in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Early life and high school career[edit]

Born in Pewaukee, Wisconsin to parents Connie, vice president of the Justin J. Watt Foundation and John Watt, a firefighter.[3][4] He is the oldest of three children, with younger brothers Derek (b. 1997) and TJ (b. 1995), who are both students at University of Wisconsin and aspiring football players.[4][5]

Watt attended Pewaukee High School, where he was a four-year letterman and two-year starter in football, and also lettered twice each in basketball and baseball and once in track and field. Watt played hockey from age 3 to age 13, and has proclaimed that it was his favorite sport growing up, and "possibly still is". When he was 13 the cost of equipment and travel became too much for his family, and Watt had to quit hockey. Playing both tight end and defensive end, Watt caught 26 passes for 400 yards and six touchdowns as a senior in 2006, while on defense registering 10 sacks, a school-record 22.5 tackles for loss, 70 total tackles, five forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries. He was named the Woodland Conference Player of the Year, and voted to the All-Woodland Conference first team as both a tight end and defensive end. Watt was also honored as Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Athlete of the Year.[6]

Regarded as a two-star recruit by Rivals.com, Watt was neither ranked among the top tight end nor defensive end prospects in his class. He was, however, the No. 7 rated prospect out of the state of Wisconsin.[7] After official visits to Central Michigan, Colorado, and Minnesota, Watt chose to play for Central Michigan.[8]

Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
J. J. Watt
Defensive End
Pewaukee, WI Pewaukee HS 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 240 lb (110 kg) 4.70 Jan 30, 2007 
Scout:2/5 stars   Rivals:2/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 63
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: NR   Rivals: NR  ESPN: 172 (DE)
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


College career[edit]

J.J. Watt after the Badgers defeated Northwestern in 2010, becoming the Big Ten Co-Champions alongside Michigan State

Central Michigan[edit]

Watt attended Central Michigan University, where he played for the Central Michigan Chippewas football team for one year in 2007. While there, he played tight end and caught eight passes for 77 yards. Frustrated by his lack of direction at Central Michigan, he transferred to Wisconsin.[9]


Watt transferred to the University of Wisconsin, where he played for the Wisconsin Badgers football team in 2009 and 2010. After being redshirted in 2008, Watt started all 13 games at defensive end in 2009. He finished the season with 44 tackles and four sacks.

In the 2010 season, Watt finished the regular season with 59 tackles, seven sacks, two fumble recoveries, and an interception.[10] Watt was the 2010 recipient of the Lott Trophy and was a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award.

College statistics[edit]

Year Team Tackles TFL–yards Sacks–yards FR
2009 Wisconsin 44 15.5–53 4.5–19 2
2010 Wisconsin 59 21.0–91 7.0–56 2
College totals 103 36.5–144 11.5–75 4

Professional career[edit]

2011 NFL Draft[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 5 in 290 lb 34 in 11⅛ in 4.81 s 1.64 s 2.71 s 4.21 s 6.88 s 37 in 10 ft 0 in 34 reps 31
All values from NFL Combine,[11][12] Wonderlic score from ProFootballWeekly[13]

Houston Texans[edit]

On January 6, 2011, Watt announced that he would forgo his senior year of college to enter the 2011 NFL Draft. On April 28, 2011, Watt was drafted 11th overall to the Houston Texans.[14] On July 31, 2011, Watt was signed to a four-year contract with the Texans worth $11,237,000, which included a signing bonus of $6,672,000.[15][16]

Rookie Season[edit]

In his first regular season game with the Texans, Watt recorded five tackles (all solo) and recovered a fumble.

Watt finished the regular season with 56 tackles (48 of them solo stops), 5½ sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 4 passes defensed, and a blocked field goal.

In the Texans' first ever playoff game on January 7, 2012 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Watt intercepted quarterback Andy Dalton and returned it for his first career NFL touchdown to give Houston a 17-10 lead at halftime. The Texans won 31-10. Interestingly, Dalton had been the quarterback for the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs when they had beaten Watt's Badgers in the 2011 Rose Bowl the year before.

In the Divisional Round against the Baltimore Ravens on January 15, 2012, Watt sacked quarterback Joe Flacco 2½ times, equal to fellow rookie Brooks Reed. However, the Texans lost 20-13, ending the franchise's first playoff run.

2012 Season[edit]

Watt during 2014 Pro Bowl coin toss

Watt's sophomore season in the NFL turned out to be one of the greatest seasons by a defensive player in NFL history. During the week 12 Thanksgiving game against the Detroit Lions, Watt broke the Texans franchise record set by former teammate Mario Williams for most sacks in a single season. Watt finished the regular season with 81 tackles (69 solo), 20.5 sacks, 39 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and an astonishing 16 passes defended - a statistic usually reserved for defensive backs.[17] Making his All-Pro debut, he was a unanimous choice for The Associated Press All-Pro team.[18] Because of his knack for batting balls down at the line of scrimmage, he was nicknamed "J.J. Swatt" by Monday Night Football commentator and former NFL head coach Jon Gruden.[19]

Watt became the first player in NFL history to record 16.5 sacks and tip 15 passes in a single season after a Week 13 victory against the Tennessee Titans. He was a starting defensive end for the AFC Division in the 2013 Pro Bowl. J.J. Watt and the Texans were in the top of the AFC for the first sixteen weeks, but with a loss to the Colts in week 17, with Broncos and Patriots wins, they slid down to the third seed and faced the Cincinnati Bengals in the wildcard round for the second consecutive postseason. In the game, J.J Watt had 5 tackles and a sack. He helped the Houston defense hold Bengals to 6 (offensive) points to give Texans a 19-13 victory. The Texans played at the Patriots (#2 seed) in the divisional round. J.J. Watt and the defense were not as dominant in this match and allowed 41 points. Watt only had 4 tackles and a half sack in the game, and the Texans were eliminated with a final score of 41-28. On January 15, 2013, Watt was selected as the AFC Defensive Player of the Year.[20] On February 3, 2013, Watt was awarded the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year, receiving 49 of the 50 total votes.[21] He also made his debut on NFL's Top 100 list at No. 5, the highest ever debutant, and the highest-ranked defensive player.[22]

2014 Season[edit]

On September 1, 2014, Watt and the Houston Texans agreed to a six-year extension worth up to $100-million.[23] The new deal guaranteed Watt $51.8 million, the most for a defensive player in the history of the NFL. In addition, the $16.9 million annual value also is the highest for a defensive player. [24]

On September 14, Watt caught a 1-yard pass for a touchdown in the 30-14 win against the Oakland Raiders.[25]

Season Stats[edit]

2011 HOU 16 56 48 8 5.5 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 9 18 1
2012 HOU 16 81 69 12 20.5 4 2 7 0 0 0 0 0 16 23 63 0
2013 HOU 16 80 65 15 10.5 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 15 28 2


Charitable work[edit]

Watt (far right) with Davin Joseph (second from left) and two wounded U.S. troops at Regional Command South, Afghanistan in March 2013

Watt founded and serves on the board of directors of the Justin J. Watt Foundation which provides support to after-school athletic programs in Wisconsin and Texas.[27][28]

In April 2013, Watt held the J.J. Watt Charity Classic in Sugar Land, Texas.[29] The event included a charity softball game and raised more than $300,000 to help fund after-school athletic programs for children.[30]


  1. ^ Gantt, Darin. "J.J. Watt is the AFC defensive player of the month". NBC Sports. Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Lucas, Mike (2011-07-19). "Lucas at Large: Catching up with J.J. Watt". UWBadgers.com. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  3. ^ Alex Endress (May 8, 2014). "J.J. Watt Charity Classic raises $436,433 towards afterschool athletics; features tomfoolery". Your Houston News. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Ashley Schumacher (August 24, 2014). "My Three Sons: Badger Mom Proud of Watt Brothers On, Off the Field". Wisconsin Alumni Association. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  5. ^ Louis Bien (February 6, 2013). "T.J. Watt: 2013 Wisconsin Football Recruiting Class". Bucky's 5th Quarter; Vox Media. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  6. ^ "More than one field of dreams: Pewaukee senior a multi-sport standout". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. June 17, 2007. 
  7. ^ Rivals.com Wisconsin top 10 2007
  8. ^ Rivals.com Recruiting profile
  9. ^ "Solomon: Texans' first-round pick Watt driven to succeed - Houston Chronicle". Chron.com. 2011-04-30. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  10. ^ "ESPN.com profile". Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  11. ^ "NFL Events: Combine Player Profiles - J.J. Watt". Nfl.com. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  12. ^ http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=active&biw=1260&bih=839&q=jj+watt+nfldraft++scout&aq=f&aqi=g-l3&aql=&oq=
  13. ^ "Combine workout leaders: Wonderlic test". Pro Football Weekly. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  14. ^ "Watt to enter NFL draft - UWBadgers.com - The Official Web Site of The Wisconsin Badgers Athletics". UWBadgers.com. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  15. ^ Kurt Badenhausen (2 September 2014). "Texans' J.J. Watt Signs Record $100 Million Contract". Forbes. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  16. ^ John McClain (July 31, 2011). "Texans sign first-round pick Watt, three others". Houston Chronicle; Hearst Newspapers. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  17. ^ "J.J. Watt Stats - Houston Texans". ESPN. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  18. ^ "A. Peterson, J.J. Watt top All-Pros". ESPN. January 12, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  19. ^ Tyler Dunne (October 10, 2012). "Packers must account for the Watt swat". Milwaukee - Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  20. ^ "J.J. Watt Named NFL 101 AFC Defensive Player of the Year". houston.cbslocal.com. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  21. ^ Gregg Rosenthal (2013-02-02). "J.J. Watt near unanimous Defensive Player of the Year". NFL.com. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  22. ^ Top 100 players of 2013 - J.J. Watt
  23. ^ "Report: Texans, Watt agree to terms on $100 million extension". CBSSports.com. September 1, 2014. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Report: Texans give J.J. Watt $100M deal". ESPN.com. September 2, 2014. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  25. ^ http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2014091412/2014/REG2/texans@raiders#tab=analyze&menu=gameinfo%7CcontentId%3A0ap3000000394793&analyze=boxscore
  26. ^ "J.J. Watt Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  27. ^ Watt wins Lott IMPACT Trophy - UWBadgers.com - The Official Web Site of The Wisconsin Badgers Athletics
  28. ^ Welcome to Justin J. Watt!
  29. ^ "J.J. WATT CHARITY CLASSIC". Justin J. Watt Foundation. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  30. ^ Busbee, Jay. "J.J. Watt raises $300 for charity, charges mound in softball game". Shutdown Corner. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 

External links[edit]