Houston Texans J.J. Watt Named the 2019 Big Ten Dungy-Thompson Humanitarian Award
Patrick D. Starr
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt was named the 2019 Big Ten Dungy-Thompson Humanitarian Award honoree on Tuesday. Watt was honored for his work with The J.J. Watt Foundation, raising over $41 million for underprivileged youth and his efforts raising money for Hurricane Harvey.
In 2010, he started the Justin J. Watt Foundation in Wisconsin out of a desire to help underserved kids. The foundation has provided more than $5.2 million in funding to more than 700 middle schools and organizations in 30 states that have insufficient funding for after-school athletic programs or no after-school athletics whatsoever for sixth through eighth-grade children.
Watt earned both the Sports Illustrated Man of the Year award and Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year plaudit for his fundraising efforts in 2017.
Team Rubicon CEO Jake Wood congratulated Watt for the honor and being named to receive the prestigious award.
"My name belongs nowhere near yours when it comes to service and philanthropy my friend," Watt said to Wood via Twitter. "You are a true legend and I consider myself honored to know you."
Past Dungy-Thompson Humanitarian Award Recipients
2011: George Taliaferro, IND
2012: Chris Spielman, OSU
2013: Drew Brees, PUR
2014: Brian Griese, MICH
2015: John Shinsky, MSU
2016: Trent Green, IND
2017: Chad Greenway, IOWA
2018: Jake Wood, WIS
2019: J.J. Watt, WIS
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