University of Wisconsin redshirt freshman fullback Derek Watt was heading to dinner with his teammates on Friday night when he got a call from his older brother, J.J., who had some big news.
"He let me know he was taking a private jet and flew out here to come watch my little brother (Friday) night and me tonight," Derek Watt said.
J.J. Watt is the former UW All-American defensive end who currently plays for the Houston Texans. He made plans earlier in the week to watch both of his brothers play.
That includes youngest brother T.J., who was moved to quarterback at Pewaukee this season, on Friday night -- the Pirates defeated Brown Deer 30-6 -- before coming to Madison on Saturday to watch Derek make his debut at fullback in the Badgers' 26-21 victory over Northern Iowa.
"You want to talk about a great family," UW coach Bret Bielema said on Saturday. "J.J. contacted us and he didn't want to have anybody know he was here because he wanted his brother's first game to mean something. I thought Derek would have a big day (Saturday)."
Derek Watt, who was moved to fullback after the first week of preseason camp, caught two passes for 14 yards, while also dropping one pass. He split time with Sherard Cadogan.
"That first catch gave me some courage," he said. "I dropped one of them, I wasn't real happy with myself. I've just got to keep my eyes on the ball and look it all the way in."
Bielema has been excited with Derek Watt's potential after moving from linebacker and the game showed why. Although he might not always know what he's doing, he always gives great effort.
"I felt pretty comfortable," Derek Watt said of his new position. "They kind of let me ease my way in. I've just been battling and giving everything I have on every single play."
After hearing from J.J., Derek tried not to get too excited about his brother being at the game.
"It meant a lot," Derek Watt said. "I just talked to (J.J.) a little bit in the locker room atferward. I love my brother and it was pretty special to have him here."