HOUSTON -- When you go from a lightly recruited, 230-pound, high school tight end to become a 290-pound NFL wrecking ball of a defensive end the way J.J. Watt has, the murmurs of PED use are going to follow.
So during a 30-minute chat with the Houston Texans star pass rusher, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, I asked Watt about that type of talk.
He chuckled when I first made mention of it. But, as he did a lot, he answered as candidly as he could.
"First off, I hit puberty late," Watt said "When I left high school, I was 6-4, 230 pounds. And every year I put on 10-15 pounds. And if you look, I am not the most cut-up guy. I don't have the most muscle definition. It's a grind. Anybody who knows me knows the amount of work and dedication I put into it. There is no way it would even cross my mind to do anything like that. It's a compliment [for people to say it], but you also want people to know you do it the right way.
"It's frustrating when somebody says something like that because I work so hard. You're in the gym in the offseason putting in the time. But, hey, if I look like it, I appreciate it. It's insulting in one sense, but a compliment, I guess, on the other. You can't disrespect the game like that. I can't disrespect my family, my friends, myself. No way you can ever do that to yourself. That's [the talk] super gratifying because I work my ass of to be who I am, to be the size I am and play the way I do. The most gratifying part of the success is looking back at the hard work I put in."
Watt later said he is all for the league conducting HGH testing this year and going forward.
"I am glad they are," he said. "They can test me as much as they want whenever they want. I want to prove to people that I do it the right way."