J.J. Watt has been one of the most prolific defensive ends in football since he entered the league in 2011. But, while the 31-year-old has played his entire career for the Houston Texans, it was just announced he’ll be parting with the team this year following a disappointing 2020 for the superstar.
While it’s unclear where Watt will end up next, there’s no question he’ll continue to dominate games wherever he goes. And, along with being a great football player, Watt has also proven himself to be one of the most popular players in the NFL.
From his incredible charity work to the sport he first fell in love with, here are a few fun facts you need to know about the Wisconsin native.
Before he fell in love with football, Watt was obsessed with ice hockey. He started playing hockey when he was just four years old and played for travel teams that went to Canada in Germany.
However, he ended up giving up the sport when he was 13 because of the busy schedule and financial reasons.
During the 2014 season, Watt became the first NFL player to record two 20+ sack seasons in a career. Not to mention, he also holds the Texans’ records for sacks and forced fumbles.
Watt has appeared in a few television shows over the years as himself, but he actually made his acting debut in the movie Bad Moms.
He played Coach Craig in a “blink-and-you-miss-it” role.
Watt isn’t the only successful football player in his family. In fact, both of his brothers are in the NFL and currently play for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Derek Watt is a fullback, while T.J. Watt plays outside linebacker. Something was certainly in the water when the Watt boys were growing up!
Watt is married to professional soccer player Kealia Ohai, who plays for the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL. The couple first started dating in 2016 and married on February 15, 2020.
And for an extra fun fact, Watt isn’t the only professional football player married to a Chicago Red Stars player… current Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz is married to soccer star Julie Ertz!
Following the 2019 season, Watt hosted Saturday Night Live on February 1, 2020. He was the first football player to host the show since Eli Manning hosted in 2012 and became only the twelfth football player to host the show ever. He was joined by musical guest Luke Combs.
Along with being a superstar athlete, Watt is incredibly charitable. He is the president of the Justin J. Watt Foundation, which focuses on providing after-school opportunities for children. His organization has raised over $1 million since it was launched and continues to help kids to this day.
Watt also helped to raise $37 million to help Houston recover following Hurricane Harvey, which devastated the city. Watt himself donated $100,000.
And, following the heartbreaking Santa Fe High School shooting in 2018 (which took eight students and two teachers from the world), Watt offered to pay for all their funerals.