J. J Watt is among the best defenders making waves in the National Football League (NFL). He started his professional career with the Houston Texans in 2011 and in just a couple of years, the defensive end is now a 5-time Pro Bowler, 2-time NFL sacks leader, and 3-time NFL best defender of the year award winner. In addition to that, Watt has earned a spot in the All-Pro Team five times, while receiving other accolades for his excellent achievements. Since the inception of his career, he has been blazing for the Houston Texans but that isn’t where his journey as a football star began.
How J. J Watt’s Became a Football Player
The defender whose birth name is Justin James Watt developed a keen interest in playing football while he was growing up and by the time he was in 5th grade, he was already on his way to building a career in the sport. At Pewaukee High School, Watt became quite popular as an outstanding defender for his school’s football team, he got both the Player of the Year and MVP Awards as a senior. It is said that he recorded a total of 26 receptions, 5 touchdowns, and 399 receiving yards as a senior. Thereafter, he attended Central Michigan University for his college education as well as to build his football career.
Watt played only one season for the Central Michigan football team. At the end of the season, he transferred to the University of Wisconsin where he spent two more years before joining the professional football league. At Wisconsin, he was redshirted in 2008, and the following year, he got the Player of the Year award after making 44 combined tackles and 4.5 sacks.
Finishing his college career in 2010, Watt recorded 62 combined tackles and defended nine passes while making an interception. At the end of the 2010 season, J. J was named his team’s MVP while getting All-American and All-Big Ten team honors. He was equally the recipient of the 2010 Ronnie Lott Trophy.
A Look At The Stats of His Professional Career
Joining the NFL draft of 2011, J. J Watt was picked by the Houston Texans as the eleventh overall player and first defensive end to be selected that year. Afterward, he signed up with the Texans on a four-year deal worth $11.24 million. He went on to make his first appearance for the team in their season opener game against the Indianapolis Colts in September. Subsequently, he made fifteen more appearances for the team in the 2011 season. Watt helped the Texans qualify for the playoffs for the first time in history while making a total of 56 combined tackles that season.
The following season, Watt got his first Pro Bowl and All-Pro Team selection after leading the league in sacks. He proved himself worthy of this recognition after making 20.5 sacks and 81 combined tackles in the 2012 season. The star player further got four more Pro Bowl and All-Pro team selections in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2018. He led the league in sacks in 2015 and was crowned the league’s defender of the year for the third time. Watt also received the same award as well as the Bert Bell Award in 2014.
The Injuries He Overcame to Pull off His Career Stats
He underwent groin surgery in January 2016 for a sports-related hernia. Later in the same year, Watt underwent multiple back surgeries which made him miss out on taking part in games for the rest of the 2016 season. Rejoining his team for the 2017 season, the defender appeared in just five games before he incurred another injury which kept him away for the remaining games in the season. He completely recovered and was certified fit to join the Texans for the 2018 season. He went on to make 16 appearances for the team, recording 61 combined tackles at the end of the season.
The player’s 2019 season promised to be successful after his team won the Los Angeles Chargers and he recorded 2 sacks on Philip Rivers. However, Watt suffered an injury sometime in August 2019 and this was during the 8th week of the NFL season. His pectoral tendon tore and this made him unfit to play in any upcoming games that period.
For the next couple of months up until December, J. J Watt did not feature in any game and when he started showing signs of recovering, he started practicing with his team. By the 31st of December 2019, he was cleared to play as he was fit again and Watt skillfully sacked Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen in a 22 – 19 victory for his team.
As of the end of his 2019 NFL career season, Watt had totaled 479 tackles, 96 sacks, 54 pass deflections, 23 forced fumbles, 15 fumble recoveries, 2 defensive touchdowns, and 1 interception.
Career Earnings and Net Worth of The NFL Star
J. J Watt has been outstanding since the inception of his career and has made huge wealth for himself. His net worth is currently pegged at $10 million and it is believed that he earns as much as $2 million annually.
Before the 2014 NFL season kicked off, J. J Watt inked a six-year contract extension with the Texans. The deal which saw him become the highest-paid non-quarterback player in the league based on yearly salary was worth $100 million. When he made the pact, it was disclosed that he received $30.9 million and would get another $21 million at the beginning of the 2016 season.
The first contract of his professional career as stated earlier was a four-year deal worth $11.24 million. The skilled player also has endorsement deals that have pulled in a huge amount of cash for him. Some of the notable brands that Watt has partnered with include American Family Insurance, Gatorade, Reebok, H-E-B, NRB, Verizon, and Ford.
A Sketch of The Footballer’s Family Life
The talented football star came from an athletic family; his parents were active in sports during their high school days. Watt isn’t the only child of his parents, he has two younger brothers with whom he was raised. Just like Watt, his two brothers have equally established themselves as professional football stars.
His immediate younger brother Derek Watt currently plays the fullback position for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was drafted from the University of Wisconsin by the San Diego Chargers in 2016. His other brother T. J Watt is equally not left out in this regard. T. J is a professional outside linebacker currently associated with the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL. He was chosen by the Steelers in the first round of the 2017 draft.
J.J Watt Is Married To His Longtime Girlfriend
The defensive player had been in a relationship with a lady named Kealia Ohai. Kealia is an American soccer player and a member of the US Women’s National Team as well as Houston Dash Women’s Soccer Team.
Although the pair are quite popular for their careers, they have managed to keep their love life private. Nonetheless, we can tell that they began dating sometime in 2016 and waited for about a year before making it known publicly.
They are currently married; the marriage ceremony held in the Bahamas on the 15th of February 2020. Watt and his wife are yet to have any kid.