Former Wisconsin Badger J.J. Watt became the first Big Ten player selected in the 2011 NFL Draft when the Houston Texans picked the defensive end 11th overall.
Radio City Music Hall saw it’s fair share of surprises on Friday evening, but Watt wasn’t one of them. The Texans feel they have one of the best defensive players in the draft and Watt couldn’t be happier to be heading to Houston.
“It’s a great day to be a Texan. I can’t wait to get down to Houston and start getting to work,” said Watt. “At the end of the day, I was waiting for a phone call and was extremely excited when it came from Houston.”
By: Nick Grays
“I know (DE) Mario Williams is a great defensive end. I can’t wait to play on the same defensive line as him because he makes everyone around him look good. Hopefully I am there to take some blocks off him, as well,” said Watt.
J.J. also likes the coaching staff in Houston made up of Head Coach Gary Kubiack and Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips.
“They are great coaches. They want guys who are going to work hard and give them everything they have. I really like that they push their guys to the limit and I am going to give them 100%.”
Not only will Watt be joining a young and talented defensive front, but also reunites with a couple of former Badgers tight ends in Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham.
“I have talked to them a little bit. I talked to Garrett a couple weeks ago and they love it down there. They say nothing but great things about the Houston area and the Texans’ fans. I can’t wait to experience it for myself.”
Being drafted early in the first round of the NFL Draft comes with high expectations, and that’s where Watt hopes his excellent work ethic can help him during his rookie season.
“I think it’s expected to be a first-round draft pick that you come in and perform. No one has higher expectations for me than I do. I am going to come in and give it everything I have, and at the end of the day, I hope it helps the team win football games because, that is what it’s all about.”
“One thing my parents always told me, ‘If you are going to do something, do it 100%.’ That is what I have tried to do on the football field. I would be disrespecting the game if I didn’t give it 100% all the time. That’s what the Texans are going to get, a guy that comes to work every single day and give them everything I got,” said Watt.
I fully expect Watt to be an impact player in Houston and bring an improving team over the hump in their quest for a franchise-first playoff appearance.
Do you think J.J. Watt will have a successful career as a Houston Texan? Let me know by commenting below!
Nick Grays is a senior editor at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, and Milwaukee Brewers. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.Follow paulmbanks