J.J. Watt out, little brother Derek Watt in. Certainly, J.J.'s fearsome presence on the field and big heart off of it will be missed by Badger fans this fall. But Derek's addition should make fans feel better about his big brother's decision to forgo his senior season to play in the NFL. No one's saying Derek has to fill J.J.'s shoes- hell, the two don't even play the same position. Each brother has had their own challenges to face. J.J. walked on at Wisconsin after an disappointing stint at Central Michigan as a tight end, having to deliver pizzas and transform himself into a great defensive player to earn his scholarship. Meanwhile, Derek, who plays linebacker, must find a way to make a name for himself as more than just J.J.'s little brother (in Madison no less, the place where J.J. made a name for himself). He may have had trepidations about this at first, as he originally committed to Northwestern.
Derek got off to a great start regarding that goal this past Saturday. At the WFCA All-Star Game in Oshkosh, Watt snagged three interceptions and was upset that he didn't corral a fourth opportunity. Keep in mind that this was a game featuring many of his fellow incoming Badger teammates, making his performance that much more impressive. J.J. had one interception in his career at Wisconsin, so I think Derek's got a great shot at setting the Watt family record on that front.
Meanwhile, J.J. continues to impress Texans fans and all of Houston with his generosity. Via Twitter, he heard about two young boys who were paralyzed in a car accident that took the lives of their parents and immediately set up a meeting with them at the hospital. J.J. has always been a class act and it's excellent that he's already making a positive difference in his new city.
Lastly, the third Watt brother, T.J., is already being recruited by the Badgers. More BB after the J.
More watch lists: RB James White made it onto the Walter Camp Award (given to the top player in the NCAA) preseason list. Which begs the question- why did White make the list but not Montee Ball? Ron Dayne won this award in 1999.
This blog post suggests that Bret Bielema went out of his way to sever recruiting ties in New Jersey when he took over the program. (Insert New Jersey-related joke here)
Athlon Sports has Wisconsin listed as the 25th most attractive football coaching destination in the country. Lack of tradition hurt the Badgers here. Wait, we're really behind Clemson? (insert Clemson-related joke here)
ESPN's Big Ten blog ranks the Big Ten specialists. Among their positions, the senior kicking tandem of Philip Welch and Brad Nortman picked up third and first, respectively. I've always believed that good special teams turns a great season into an excellent season, so I'll be looking forward to seeing how those two perform in their final year in Madison.
That's it for the Bits, folks. Beat the heat by stopping in at your local newsstand and picking up Badger Kickoff 2011, the only preview magazine exclusively dedicated to your Wisconsin Badgers. Then, stay in your air-conditioned room all week and read it.