Wisconsin Football: Is TJ Watt Headed to the NFL Draft?

Nov 26, 2016; Madison, WI, USA;  Wisconsin Badgers linebacker T.J. Watt (42) during the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Camp Randall Stadium.  Wisconsin won 31-17.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

As the End of Season Looms, Badger Fans Are Beginning to Wonder if TJ Watt will Return

Coming into the season it seemed as though two full years of TJ Watt starting for Wisconsin seemed a given, he was relatively unknown outside of Wisconsin football fans and the spotlight that he may have gotten from being the the youngest in a long line of Watt’s.

After an incredible opening game against LSU TJ began to cast his own light as a star player, and never slowed down this season. After a season in which he recorded 59 total tackles, and 10.5 sacks fans are beginning to wonder whether or not the Badgers star linebacker will return for another season.

Watt was a AP Second Team All American, and in a class that isn’t relatively heavy on linebackers he is currently sitting as the third linebacker and a projected late 1st to 2nd round pick. He is bigger than the two linebackers ahead of him (Reuben Foster of Alabama and Zach Cunningham of Vanderbilt) and his long body makes him a true outside linebacker that can give quarterbacks fits.

Watt has been relatively quiet on his possible jump to the NFL, stating that his only focus is on the Cotton Bowl. However, i’m sure there have been preliminary discussions on Watt’s NFL future, and quite honestly its hard to read much into his thoughts.

Part of me thinks that Watt would more than likely stay simply because of the team that they could have next year, but if we go off of what previous Watt’s have done, that doesn’t bode well for a return. JJ left despite Wisconsin returning a quality squad with Russell Wilson eventually being at the helm, and wasn’t as highly projected as he should have been.

The bottom line is there is no clear image of Watt will do, but we can all hope that the return to Wisconsin is a real possibility. You can’t fault a kid for taking his shot at the NFL and the money that comes with it, but the selfish Badger fan in me is really hoping that Watt will be running out in Camp Randall next fall.

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