There’s a former Wisconsin Badgers linebacker turned first-round pick in the NFL Draft that’s taken the NFL by storm, and it’s TJ Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s had plenty of solid seasons for the Steelers, even named Defensive Player of the Year in 2021, but he’s added another accolade in being named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for September.
.@_TJWatt has been named AFC Defensive Player of the Month for September!
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 28, 2023
Tenure with the Wisconsin Badgers
TJ Watt played for the Wisconsin Badgers in 2015 and 2016, where in 2016, he really stood out. Across his 14 games in 2016, he had 63 tackles with 11.5 sacks. His 11.5 sacks led the Big Ten and was No. 1 in all of the NCAA. His play jettisoned him to the NFL Draft, where the Pittsburgh Steelers took him with the #30 pick.
The Month of September for TJ Watt
The former Wisconsin Badgers linebacker has been nothing short of excellent this season for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s seemingly doing it all with six total sacks to lead the league among his 11 tackles this season. He’s forced the QB to make a hurry-up throw four times and has even forced and recovered two fumbles, which is good for the lead league as well.
He started the season strong with three sacks against the 49ers and then added another sack against the Cleveland Browns that would put him as the leader in sacks all-time for the Steelers, passing James Harrison and his 81.5 sacks. He’s on pace to break his own record of 22.5 sacks, where he tied Michael Strahan from 2001.
Death, taxes, TJ Watt destroying your quarterback
— Mike Hawk (Bears 2025 Super Bowl Champs) (@NosebleedNews) September 25, 2023
TJ Watt is well on his way to being among the top defensive players and is an early favorite for Defensive Player of the Year.
TJ Watt is on pace for:
34 Sacks (11.5 more than record)
11 Forced Fumbles (record)
Is he the clear favorite for DPOTY three weeks in? pic.twitter.com/HI3xN8sOBQ
— Bench Warmer Banter (@bwb_sports) September 28, 2023