After de-committing from Northwestern to take a grayshirt option from Wisconsin, Watt received a call two days ago from Head Coach Bret Bielema, telling the 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker from Pewaukee that he will be able to join the Badgers this summer.
"He told me awhile back when I was sitting on the couch in his office that if something happened that created an opportunity for me, he would let me know and I guess something ended up happening," Watt said, breaking the news to Badger Nation. "I'm going to be able to come in, have my full ride offer right from the get go."
The situation that evidentially happened was the result of Fond Du Lac St. Mary's Springs athlete Eric Steffes having double shoulder surgery, choosing to spend next season rehabbing and enroll January 2012 with all his years of eligibility remaining.
A three-star linebacker and ranked No.109 at his position by Scout.com, the decision hasn't affected Watt in terms of his training. Still working our four days a week with Hartland Arrowhead linebacker Derek Landisch, the only thing that has changed for Watt is his level of excitement, as he won't have to wait a year to join a team coming off an appearance in the Rose Bowl.
"Not only is it going to be outstanding to be a part of that team next year, it's going to be great to be a part of my class," Watt said. "To be able to go into the guys I have been recruited with and guys that I have been talking to for the last couple months, it's going to be a great feeling to go in with them and build relationships with the other commits. I hope we can really start clicking."
The decision also seemingly won't have an impact on J.J. Watt, Derek's older brother. After a breakout junior season filled with accolades, including winning the Lott Impact Award, J.J. is projected by some outlets as a first round NFL draft pick, and has seemingly weighed out all the pros and cons of the decision.
He may have to add another pro to the list by being able to play one season with his brother.
"I don't think it'll affect him at all," Watt said. "He's not going to let me being there earlier now effect his decision. He's going to do what he thinks is best with him."