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J.J. Watt
Nominated by Bret Bielema

J.J Watt came to Wisconsin as a walk-on, giving up his scholarship at Central Michigan. In three months between leaving Central and enrolling at UW, he worked at Pizza Hut in his hometown because he knew his parents now had to pay for school. He earned a scholarship before ever taking a snap on the field, after being recognized as the Scout Team Defensive Player of the Year.

Watt is the leader of Wisconsin’s defense, ranking second in the Big Ten and in the top 10 in the country in tackles for loss (18.0). He has made big plays when needed, blocking an extra point and getting a sack on Iowa’s last drive in a 1-point win at Iowa, recording two sacks and three TFL’s in a win over # 1 Ohio State and recording an interception to thwart Michigan’s second-half comeback bid.

In addition, J.J. leads the team in community service hours and has started his own charity, the Justin J. Watt Foundation.