Junior outside linebacker T.J. Watt will be leaving the Wisconsin football program a year early to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.

First report here by draft expert Tony Pauline:

The youngest of the three Watt brothers, established himself on the Wisconsin defense this year starting opposite Vince Biegel. The tight-end-turned-linebacker’s confidence on the other side of the ball was apparent to everyone who watched him. Watt finished the year with 63 total tackles, including 15.5 tackles for a loss. He also earned 11.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception returned for a touchdown.

With Vince Biegel finishing his senior year, Watt potentially leaving the program would make for some changes in Wisconsin’s linebacking corps. There is no official word from Wisconsin or from Watt.

Earlier this season, Watt expressed his gratefulness and pride playing for the state of Wisconsin. Coming from a family of Badgers with his brothers J.J. Watt, a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year for the Houston Texans, and Derek Watt, a first-year fullback for the San Diego Chargers, Watt made a statement of his own under Paul Chryst’s Wisconsin football team.

Watt said, “It’s a special place to play. I’ve been coming here a long time, watching my brothers play here and just being able to run out that tunnel is such a special feeling, and also you don’t really how special our fans are until you go to other places and realize how different it is at other places. We definitely have something special here and I love playing in front of the fans at Camp Randall.”

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