Fmr. Badger J.J. Watt to be honored in tribute video during NFL Draft
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Former Badgers star and Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt will be recognized Thursday during night one of the NFL Draft.
Gatorade will pay tribute to Watt through a film that highlights his legendary career as a defensive end, as well as his impact off the field.
Watt joined Gatorade’s elite roster in 2011 when he was drafted by the Houston Texans. Through his contributions to the community and his career, Gatorade described him as one of the brand’s most inspirational athletes.
Clips in the film show how the Pewaukee native has helped fund after-school athletics for underprivileged youth through his namesake foundation. Watt has also been involved in some of Gatorade’s most impactful community work, including the Gatorade Athlete of the Year Awards and its Fuel Tomorrow initiative, which works to create equity in sports. Gatorade hopes the film will inspire NFL rookies to follow in his footsteps.
The brand will also donate $99,000, playing off of Watt’s #99, to the Justin J Watt Foundation.
J.J. Watt announced in December of 2022 he would be hanging up his cleats at the end of the season.
The Wisconsin native, who won the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year award in 2012, 2014 and 2015, played in 12 NFL seasons, including 10 in Houston and two in Arizona. He’s a three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner and was honored as the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in 2017.
After graduating from Pewaukee High School in 2007, Watt spent a single season at Central Michigan before coming back to his home state and playing for the University of Wisconsin. Two seasons later, following his junior year, Watt entered the NFL draft, on his way to what will likely be a Hall of Fame career.
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