The parade of players exiting college football for the NFL — with one huge exception — continues this afternoon as Wisconsin officially announced that they have lost one of the most talented defensive linemen in the country.
Via press release, the school announced that defensive end J.J. Watt will forgo his final season of college eligibility and enter the NFL draft. Watt also sent an open letter to Badger fans, which can be read in its entirety HERE.
“First and foremost, I would like to say that my time at the University of Wisconsin has been unbelievable and it has far surpassed anything that I ever could have imagined,” Watt wrote in the letter. “I would also like to thank Coach Bielema and the entire coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play for my home-state team, as well as helping me to succeed both in the classroom and on the field at the highest level possible.
“This has, without a doubt, been one of the most difficult decisions of my life, and it is one that was not reached quickly, or easily. At this time, I have made the decision to enter the 2011 NFL Draft. It has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember to play in the National Football League, and through hard work and dedication, that dream finally has a chance to become a reality.”
Watt was named the 2010 Lott IMPACT Trophy winner, earned second-team All-America honors and was a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection after leading the Badgers and ranking third in the country with 21.0 tackles for loss this season.
Miami is hiring Lance Guidry, who was defensive coordinator at Marshall last season and recently accepted the same position at Tulane, to lead its defense, two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because a deal was still being finalized between Guidry and Miami.
The 51-year-old Louisiana native was hired way from Marshall by Tulane just last month. Now he’ll replace Kevin Steele on Mario Cristobal‘s staff at Miami. Steele is reportedly on his way to Alabama to become Nick Saban‘s defensive coordinator after holding that position for one season with the Hurricanes.
Alabama has yet to make the hiring of Steele and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees official. Rees had been assistant at Notre Dame.
Tulane announced the hiring of Guidry on Jan. 23 to replace Chris Hampton, who left the New Orleans-based school to join Oregon’s staff as an assistant coach.
Guidry’s defenses at Marshall ranked third in the nation in yards per play this season (4.56) and 26th nationally in 2021 (5.14 ypp).
CHICAGO — Wrigley Field will host a college football game for the third time since 2010 when Iowa plays Northwestern next season.
Northwestern and the Chicago Cubs announced that the Wildcats’ home game will be played Nov. 4.
Northwestern played Illinois at Wrigley in 2010 in the MLB ballpark’s first college football game since 1938, and the Wildcats hosted Purdue there in 2021.
Wrigley Field has a long history of hosting football games. The Chicago Bears played there from 1921 to 1970 before moving to Soldier Field. The old Chicago Cardinals also played at Wrigley, as well as DePaul until its program folded in 1939.
Northwestern had been scheduled to play Wisconsin at Wrigley in 2020, but the game was moved to Ryan Field in Evanston because of the COVID-19 pandemic.