UW linebacker T.J. Watt will enter the 2017 NFL Draft

MADISON, Wis. — “I’m solely focused on this game, 100 percent,” Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt said Thursday prior to the Cotton Bowl. “Everything that comes after this game, comes after this game. I’m not worried about the future at all right now.”

Watt didn’t need to wait long after a 24-16 win over Western Michigan to decide he’s ready to make an impact in the National Football League. He announced his decision to leave school early and test the waters in professional football.

The redshirt junior leaves Wisconsin with 15.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks on the season, leading the team in both categories. He added 63 total tackles, an interception, and two forced fumbles to his numbers. His performance led to a first-team All-Big Ten bid, as well as first-team All-American honors by Sports Illustrated second-team by The Associated Press.

“I’m excited about the opportunity of being able to sit down and take into serious consideration my options,” Watt said on Thursday.

Watt is the younger brother of both J.J. (Houston Texans) and Derek (San Diego Chargers) but hopes scouts notice him for his performance, not his last name. He’s considered a second or third round NFL talent by many analysts.