Watt is a Chippewa Once More

In one of the most intense recruiting battles in the history of Central Michigan University football, the Chippewas have beaten out multiple Bowl Championship Series schools for one of the highest rated players in the state of Wisconsin.

Tight end J.J. Watt (6-6, 240) of Pewaukee (Wisc.) High School originally committed to Central Michigan this past summer.

That all changed the beginning of December following head coach Brian Kelly's departure for the University of Cincinnati. Soon afterward, Watt committed to Minnesota and head coach Glen Mason, who was promptly fired following a December bowl game loss.

Sunday, while returning home from the All-State banquet in Green Bay, Watt's whirlwind recruiting ordeal finally came to an end when he re-committed to the Chippewas over the Golden Gophers.

"I thought to myself, what's my reason for committing to Minnesota? It's because it's the Big Ten," Watt explained. "But a MAC football player is a big time football player too and I just felt that (CMU head) coach (Butch) Jones is the type of coach I want to play for, who I will give 110 percent for.

"CMU was there for me from the beginning," Watt added. "I feel Central Michigan is the best place for me to display my skills."

Watt said he called both Jones and Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster to inform them of his final decision Sunday night. Watt laughed when asked how excited coach Jones was to hear him say he was committing to the Chippewas.

"Coach Jones was excited to say the least," Watt chuckled. "He said it was a great day for the Chippewa nation. He screamed down the hall to (CMU assistant) coach (Max) Glowacki, 'J.J. is a Chip!'"

Watt said CMU is expecting him to come in and compete immediately for playing time at tight end.

"I'm excited to get up there and start working on another MAC Championship and to help make CMU a top 25 program," Watt said. "Knowing that Dan LeFevour is going to be throwing me the football is exciting. He's one of the best quarterbacks in the nation and I know the NFL scouts are going to be watching him."

Watt will join highly-touted defensive tackle Josh Allison of Lake Orion (Mich.) High School in the Chippewas 2007 recruiting class. Like Watt, Allison was also once committed to Minnesota before changing his pledge to CMU.

"Seeing Dan Bazuin and Joe Staley's draft status continue to rise tells me that you don't have to play in the Big Ten or SEC to make it to the NFL," Watt said. "The relationships I established with the CMU players and coach Jones and coach Glowacki made the difference."

Concluded Watt: "I'm glad it's over, I've made my decision. I'm a Chippewa!"

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