Watt Feeling like a Veteran

While most underclassmen on the roster are just getting use to their new spots, redshirt sophomore Derek Watt is ahead of the game at the fullback position.

MADISON - It's hard to believe that at this point last year, Derek Watt was set to start his second season as a University of Wisconsin linebacker.

Entering the second week of the 2012 camp, Wisconsin made one of its best moves of the season by switching Watt to fullback in hopes of reenergizing a position that had become stagnate with the departure of Bradie Ewing to the NFL.

After only one season, Watt's abilities to catch and block made him look like a veteran within the group.

"I'm definitely more comfortable this year at the fullback position," Watt said during the first week of fall camp. "I had all the reps in the games last season, in the winter and spring practices. All summer we worked in the film room and out on the field with 7-on-7 drills."

Playing in all 14 games (five starts) on offense and every game on special teams, Watt finished his first season with 12 catches for 150 yards, including a long of 33, and totaled 13 tackles (10 solo). Putting up those numbers within his first season of adjusting to a new position, imagine what numbers Watt will put out after already feeling better about his game within the first week of camp.

"I feel way more comfortable at this fall camp then when I was just thrown into a new position last year," he said. "I'm getting better and it's starting to come a lot more naturally."

The biggest improvement Watt says he needs to make in the next three weeks before the opener is cleaning up his fundamentals and techniques, especially since head coach Gary Andersen said Watt might become more involved in carrying the football in UW's new offense.

"Working on the little things is the hardest," said Watt. "Driving your feet and finishing the guy two yards pass the line of scrimmage is something (running backs) coach (Thomas) Hammock always harps on. Now I'm playing tailback so ball security is important. It's all the little things that need to come together."

Saying he was too light at times last season, Watt has added roughly 16 pounds to his frame, now carrying 230 pounds on his 6-2 frame. After one week of camp, he can already feel he's driving his opponents and becoming more consistent.

"They are all things you need to work on each and every day," said Watt. "No matter how good you think you are, you have to keep doing it."

Badger Nation Top Stories