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According to ESPN, J.J. Watt Is Still World Famous

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For the third year in a row, Texans’ DE has ranked among the most famous athletes in the world.

NFL: NFL Honors-Red Carpet Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For the past three years, ESPN has released a World Fame 100 list that ranks athletes based on their social media following, endorsements, and search engine popularity. For the past three years, J.J. Watt has been on that list, the only Texan so honored. This year he is ranked #72.

We know Watt hasn’t been on the field much lately, but his charitable work, with his J.J. Watt Foundation, in fundraising for Hurricane Harvey relief and in connection with the recent high school shooting in Santa Fe, has garnered additional national and international headlines.

Those of us who follow the Texans know that our outsized DE has an outsized level of fame, and anyone who’s followed the NFL this decade knows Watt’s one of the names that is always mentioned (heck, despite being injured most of the past two seasons, he’s still included on the NFL’s Top 100 Players list). When you look at Watt’s social media accounts (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook), you see that over 10 million people want to keep track of what J.J. is up to and how he’s feeling.

The World Fame 100 list reflects the relative popularity of the NFL around the world as well. While football is a top sport in the US, Watt’s the only defensive player who made ESPN’s list and one of only seven NFL players on the list at all (along with Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, and Odell Beckham Jr.).

We know Watt hasn’t been on the field much lately, but his charitable work, with his J.J. Watt Foundation, in fundraising for Hurricane Harvey relief and in connection with the recent high school shooting in Santa Fe, has garnered additional national and international headlines.