NFL great JJ Watt reacts to TY Hilton’s son commitment to Wisconsin: ‘Happy to be rooting for a Hilton now’

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Four-time NFL Pro Bowler T.Y. Hilton’s Father’s Day weekend got off to a memorable start. 

High school football star Eugene Hilton Jr, the son of the former Indianapolis Colts star, announced his commitment to play college football at Wisconsin. The younger Hilton picked Wisconsin after drawing interest from several other schools, including Miami, Georgia, and Ole Miss.

Former Badgers football star J.J. Watt was excited to learn his alma mater had landed the highly sought after recruit.

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JJ Watt at Steelers game

Former NFL player J.J. Watt visits on set of the Amazon Prime TNF pregame show prior to an NFL football game between the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium on November 2, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

“[H]appy to be rooting FOR a Hilton now, instead of watching one run 50 yard post routes behind me,” the former NFL pass rusher replied to a picture of Hilton and his son posted to X, formerly known as Twitter.

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Hilton then responded to Watt, writing “We on teams now JJ,” along with a salute emoji.

Hilton Jr., a standout wide receiver at Zionsville Community High School in Indiana, is a three-star prospect in the 2025 class.

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Watt was drafted by the Houston Texans in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft following his standout career in Madison.

T.Y. Hilton during a Colts game

T.Y. Hilton #13 of the Indianapolis Colts is seen during the game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

The eldest Hilton spent his college football playing days at Florida International University. But, he spent the majority of his NFL days playing for the Texans’ AFC South division rival — the Colts.

Hilton racked up 1,820 receiving yards and 11 touchdown receptions over his 20 career games against the Texans. Hilton appeared in three games with the Dallas Cowboys in 2022 before retiring from football.

JJ Watt during ceremony

Former Houston Texans player J.J. Watt waves to the crowd during a ceremony inducting him into the Texans Ring of Honor during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at NRG Stadium on October 01, 2023 in Houston, Texas. (Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Hilton Jr. said he did not take his decision to commit to Wisconsin lightly.

“It means a lot to me. Not just me, my family as well to know that they check off the boxes and then some more,” he said about his commitment to the Badgers.

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“Something that also stands out is how many guys Coach Fickell has put in the league,” Hilton said in reference to Wisconsin head coach Luke Fickell. He was named the Badgers head coach in 2022, but spent the previous six seasons at Cincinnati.

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