For Waukesha County residents, the Rose Bowl is more than just a long-standing tradition of New Year’s Day football. With several local residents playing for the Wisconsin Badgers, there’s plenty to cheer for this year.
Derek Watt, of Pewaukee, is making his own name on the Wisconsin Badgers. After switch from a linebacker to a fullback, Watt’s helped the Badgers’ offense this season with 12 receptions for 150 yards, including a 33-yard catch. Watt also recorded 12 defensive tackles this year.
Watt, No. 34, was optimistic about the switch when first approached earlier this year, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
“He thought it was in my best interests,” Watt told the Wisconsin State Journal. “When the head coach tells you there’s a possibility you can get on the field sooner, it’s always appealing.”
The Watt brothers will all play for the Badgers when young brother T.J. joins the Badgers next fall. Older brother, J.J. Watt, played in the Rose Bowl in 2011, and has been an explosive defensive end for the Houston Texans. But when it’s the younger brothers’ time to shine, J.J. wants them to have that moment.
“I’ve had a lot of success, but I never ever, ever want my brothers to be overshadowed by my success,” J.J. told the Houston Chronicle. “I want Derek’s first game as a Badger to be just as special as my first game as a Badger. Want T.J. signing his scholarship paper to be just as special as when I signed mine. I don’t want any of their moments to be lost because I already did it. The coolest thing about it is they’re almost saying screw you to me already because they’re doing things I’ve never done before.”
Drew Meyer, No. 90, an Arrowhead High School graduate, has punted for the Badgers this year, including a 61-yard punt in the Big Ten championship game against Nebraska. Meyer was highlighted in a Fox Sports article in October about his recent success in punting for the Wisconsin Badgers, including the number of times Meyer has punted this year.
“You prepare yourself to have to punt as many times as you're going to have to in a game," Meyer said in the article. "It is kind of fun to get out and contribute. I definitely would like to be out there a little bit less because normally that means the offense is doing a little bit better."
Badgers kicker, Kyle French, of Menomonee Falls, has been bringing in the points for Wisconsin this year. In the Badgers’ opening game against Northern Iowa, French scored two field goals. French, a 2010 graduate of Menomonee Falls High School, was recognized as an Academic All-Big Ten student-athlete in 2011 and 2012. French wears the jersey No. 94.
Bryce Gilbert, of Brookfield, had four tackles when the Badgers lost 21-24 against Penn State earlier this season. The defensive lineman is a Brookfield Central graduate. Gilbert is No. 77 on the Badgers.
Jeffrey Lewis, of Brookfield, scored the final touchdown in Wisconsin’s 62-14 win over Indiana as a running back. The Brookfield Central graduate wears No. 22.
Joe Schobert, of Waukesha, received many honors for his athleticism during his time as a Wolverine at Waukesha West High School. The defensive back, No. 19, played in eight games this season.
Derek Landisch, of Nashotah, a linebacker from Arrowhead High School had 11 tackles in his first career start against Penn State. Landisch wears No. 30 on the field.
Kevin MacCudden, of Waukesha, starred on the Waukesha West High School’s championship team. Wearing No. 37 at fullback, there are no statistics listed for MacCudden this year. MacCudden, however, scored one receiving touchdown last season at University of Dubuque.
- When: 4 p.m. (central time) Tuesday
- Where: Pasadena, CA
- Watch on TV: ESPN
- Teams: Wisconsin Badgers (8-5) vs. Stanford (11-2)
Editor's note: Information about the Wisconsin Badgers players stats were provide via the UW-Madison football website.