Wisconsin Badgers alums Russell Wilson and J.J. Watt on ESPN2 Special



There will be a really Wisconsin theme to the next ESPN SportsCenter Special: NFL Face to Face with Hannah Storm (Monday at 6 p.m. CDT on ESPN2)

It will feature the two most successful Wisconsin Badgers in the NFL, and the face of the defense of the Green Bay Packers, the NFL cousins of the Wisconsin Badgers.

Monday’s special features Vernon Davis, Packers LB Clay Matthews, and former Wisconsin Badgers Rose Bowl team stars J.J. Watt and Russell Wilson on the sixth of Storm’s Face to Face series on ESPN

Clay Matthews – The Green Bay Packers linebacker, who has transitioned into a new role as leader of the team’s defensive unit, ranks fifth in the NFL with 42.5 sacks since his rookie season in 2009. Matthews has a unique off-season workout routine that includes yoga sessions.

· “We had come to a crossroad in this team as far as the leadership and where we want to go … Ultimately, we will see where it goes but you’re gonna get a definite change of this defense with me in charge.” – Matthews


J.J. Watt – The 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the Year led the NFL in sacks (20.5) and batted passes (16). On Face to Face, he acknowledges conflicting feelings about being booed after the Texans drafted him in 2011. He rose from the ranks as a pizza delivery guy to walk-on to best defensive end in college football with the Wisconsin Badgers.

· “They all wanted somebody else. They didn’t want me. They saw me as – from what I read and what I saw – a safe pick, that wasn’t really going to be a playmaker, that never had the potential to be great, that would always be decent, but never a star.” – Watt

Russell Wilson – Last season, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback set two notable records for a rookie quarterback by tying Peyton Manning’s rookie record of 26 passing touchdowns and setting the post-season record of 385 passing yards in a Divisional Playoff game. Wilson transferred from N.C. State to one year with the Wisconsin Badgers; where he broke the college football record for single season passer rating.

· “It was after the Patriots game, when we came back and won that game at home, against one of the best – if not the best – quarterbacks of all time, in Tom Brady. To win that game in the fashion that we did, the energy in that stadium, and some of the throws that I had to make, just to bring us back; that’s when I realized, ‘I can play – I’ll be fine.’” – Wilson

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, a Fox Sports affiliate. He is also an analyst for 95.7 The Fan, and writes on Chicago sports media for Chicago Now. President Obama follows his Twitter account (@PaulMBanks)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “Two most successful Badgers”?!?!? Joe Thomas has been a Pro Bowl player every year in the league and is, by far, the most successful Badger in the NFL!!!

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