"His work ethic is ridiculous," a teammate once said of Houston Texans star J.J. Watt

By Tierney McAfee
Updated October 20, 2015 03:20 PM
Credit: Bob Levey/Getty

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is one of the hardest-working players in the NFL – and it’s no wonder, given his humble upbringing.

A new episode of ESPN’s E:60, airing Tuesday night, explores Watt’s meteoric rise to fame, his life on and off the football field and his childhood in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. That’s where Watt’s parents, Connie and John, come in to shed some light on his younger years as an all-star athlete – and student.

“My kids did homework in the summertime,” Connie recalls of the now 26-year-old football star and his two brothers, both of whom currently play football at J.J.’s alma mater, the University of Wisconsin. “They had to read, and then they would write a report [for me].”

Watt applied the same work ethic to his high school job as the most dependable pizza delivery driver in town – and later to his college football career at Central Michigan University and the University of Wisconsin.

Watt’s hard work on and off the field has paid off in spades – and also led his Texans teammate Keith Browner to declare, “His work ethic is ridiculous.”

“He’s just a working horse,” Browner added of Watt in a 2014 interview. “It’s like he never tires out.”

Watt’s episode of E: 60 airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.