JJ Watt Follows Through on Promise to Give Young Fan His Jersey: 'I Have a New Friend'
Houston Texans defensive lineman JJ Watt surprised a local 4th-grader with one of his jerseys after he saw a picture of the student wearing his own homemade version on Twitter.
Earlier this month, a teacher at Moore Elementary in Houston uploaded a photo to social media that showed her and students wearing Watt’s No. 99 jersey in celebration of the 99th day of the school year.
“99th day of school @MooreCFISD! Any excuse to wear @JJWatt jerseys and jeans! #bemoore,” wrote teacher Malinda Ross, who posted the image to Twitter.
But in lieu of his own jersey, a young boy featured in the photo had instead cut out two nines from paper and pinned them to his blue t-shirt.
The picture eventually found its way to Watt, who was so impressed by the boy’s dedication that he announced plans to gift him a “real” jersey of his own.
“My man in the middle making the extra effort!” Watt, 29, wrote on Feb. 5 in response to the photo.
“DM me an address and I’ll make sure we get him a real jersey!” he added. “Hope everyone over there has a great 99th day of school!”
On Wednesday, Watt — who won the prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 2018 — made good on his word and visited Moore Elementary to personally deliver the jersey.
“We were able to find our man from last week!” Watt wrote on Twitter. “Now he has a couple jerseys of his own to choose from and I have a new friend named Brock.”
A picture posted to Twitter revealed that the eight-year NFL veteran even signed the jersey with a special message.
“Brock, thank you for the support! Dream big, work hard!” Watt wrote.
This is not the first time Watt has given back to his Houston community, as his Justin J. Watt Foundation raised and distributed $41.6 million to those affected by Hurricane Harvey between 2017 and August 2018, according to the NFL.
In May 2018, Watt also offered to pay for the funerals of those who were killed in the tragic shooting at a Santa Fe, Texas high school, PEOPLE confirmed at the time.