It’s quite the accomplishment to have your number retired by an NFL team. The Pittsburgh Steelers have a handful numbers that are “unofficially retired,” but several digits have been officially taken off the table, including #32 in honor of the late Franco Harris as well as #75 for “Mean” Joe Greene.
Well, two Steelers are getting their numbers retired this offseason as well but not with Pittsburgh. Steelers OLB T.J. Watt and FB Derek Watt, who played for the Steelers the last three seasons, will have their high school numbers retired on May 5, according to a tweet by the Pewaukee Schools Twitter account. J.J. Watt, the older brother of Derek and T.J., quote tweeted the announcement, congratulating his brothers on joining him — his number was retired years before — while looking forward to their acceptance speeches.
Pewaukee is a small town in Wisconsin, having a population of 8,195 as of 2021. J.J. Watt was famously known for playing TE in high school and initially in college for the Badgers before switching to the defensive side of the football. He ended up thriving there, becoming a seven-time All-Pro selection and three-time Defensive Player of the Year. While in high school, T.J. went through a similar position change. He went from tight end to quarterback while also contributing as the team’s holder and punter as mentioned by his former high school coaches in a segment from ‘The Standard’ which is on the Steelers’ YouTube channel.
Derek Watt’s future with the Steelers is up in the air as he remains a free agent. Whether or not Derek and T.J. share the field again as professionals, they will be taking the field one last time together back where it all started. Having their older brother, who just retired himself from the NFL, watch his younger brothers get recognized for their achievements at the high school level will only add to the moment.
Hopefully for T.J. Watt, this is not the only number retirement he experiences in his football career. He is well on his way to finishing as one of the greats in the Black and Gold, following a Hall of Fame trajectory.