Justin James Watt is an American football player who was picked by Houston Texans in 2011 NFL draft. He plays in defensive end position, but occasionally handles the defensive tackle and offensive tight end positions as well. In 2014, Watt became the first player in NFL history to record two 20+ sack seasons in a career and currently holds the Texan franchise record for maximum sacks and forced fumbles.
Early Life of J. J. Watt
Watt was born on 22nd March, 1989 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. His mother Connie is building operations vice president and father John Watt is a firefighter. JJ played hockey from a very young age but couldn’t continue due to financial reasons and conflicting schedule. He started playing football in fifth grade and became passionate about the game. He went to Pewaukee High School where he was selected in first team All State. In his senior year at high school, Watt had completed 399 receiving yards, 26 catches and 5 touchdowns.
Watt’s college football career began in Central Michigan University, where he played 14 games in tight end position and totaled 77 receiving yards and 8 receptions. However Watt decided to join University of Wisconsin and rather play at defensive end position. In 2008 season at University of Wisconsin, Watt was named Wisconsin’s Scout Team Player of the Year. He finished the 2009 season with 32 solo tackles, 12 assisted tackles, four and a half sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss, and five passes defended. In the 13 games he played during 2010 season he earned 42 solo tackles, 20 assisted tackles, 21 tackles for loss, seven sacks, one interception for 15 yards, nine passes defenses and 3 forced fumbles. He was voted team’s Most Valued Player that season and won the Ronnie Lott Trophy.
Professional Career of Justin James Watt
Watt was selected by Houston Texans as the 11th overall pick in 2011 NFL draft. On 31st July they signed a four year contract for $ 11.24 million. In his maiden year, Watt started all 16 games and scored 48 solo tackles, eight assisted tackles, and five and a half sacks. The same year Texans went in the playoffs for the first time in their history. He scored 11 solo tackles, three assisted tackles, one interception returned for a touchdown, one pass defended, and four sacks in two games. In 2011 season, Watt was named Texans Team Rookie of the Year, USA Today All-Joe Team, and Pro-Football Weekly/PWFA All Rookie Team.
2012 was one of the best seasons for Watt. He won the title AFC Defensive Player of the Month and was selected for 2013 NFL Pro-Bowl Team. Other titles he won in 2012 were Texans Team Most Valuable Player, USA Football Fundamentals Team, PFW First-Team All-Pro, Pro Football Weekly/PFWA Most Valuable Player, NFL 101 AFC Defensive Player of the Year, AP First-Team All-Pro, and the AP Defensive Player of the Year. He also became the first Texan to receive a NFL player of the year award. In the season he scored 69 solo tackles, 12 assisted tackles, 20.5 sacks, 16 passes defended, four forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. In 2014 Watt’s contract was extended by 6 years for $ 100 million, which made him NFL’s highest paid non quarterback, on the basis of average yearly salary. In 2015 season Watt suffered a groin injury and fractured his left hand. On 12th January, 2016, Dr. William Meyers of Philadelphia performed Watt’s groin surgery for sports hernia. Due to the surgery Watt could not attend the Pro Bowl and was replace by Everson Griffen of Minnesota Vikings.