J.J. Watt delivers epic acceptance speech for Defensive Player of the Year honor
It might’ve just seemed like another ho-hum AP Defensive Player of the Year honor for J.J. Watt. After all, the former Badger was collecting his third such honor in just his fifth year in the NFL.
When he accepted the award on Saturday night at the “2016 NFL Honors” awards show in San Francisco, it was clear that it was anything but another ho-hum defensive player of the year honor. The former Wisconsin walk-on had a strong message for his doubters.
Here was the speech he delivered:
“This is incredible. I remember growing up playing football with my brothers in the yard and just trying to tap my toes catching a ball before hitting the driveway, or punt the ball and try to down it on the 1-yard line. I remember all of those little things we do as kids emulating our NFL stars that we love growing up.
Growing up in Wisconsin, I had guys like Reggie White and Brett Favre. I always pretended I was them in the front yard. So for me to be able to stand up here now and know that there might be kids out there that pretend they’re wearing No. 99 is literally one of the coolest things in the entire world.
The funny thing to me is, I was a two-star recruit coming out of high school going into college and now I have three defensive player of the year trophies. So screw all of you guys who doubted me.”
Ironically enough, the closing line of the speech could’ve been sparked by an experience Watt had while in San Francisco. He joined the Dan Patrick Show on Thursday and read the negative draft review he got from scouts.
It’s hard to believe there was once a time in which people said Watt would never become an elite pass-rusher, or that he didn’t know how to use his hands.
Five years later, it’s safe to say Watt got the last laugh.