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Notre Dame’s Watt has experience at Bears training camp

Updated: February 25, 2014 12:50PM



INDIANAPOLIS — Chris Watt vividly recalls the trips with his father and uncles to the Bears’ old training camp in Platteville, Wis., notably his interaction with former linebacker Brian Urlacher.

“It’s funny,” the Notre Dame guard said during the NFL Scouting Combine. “I got a picture with [Urlacher] his rookie year up in Platteville, and I remember the next year when I had the picture blown up and wanted to get it autographed by him. I brought it up to him, and he said, ‘Wow, I look pretty [ticked] off in this picture. I’m looking pretty sad. It must have been the end of camp.’ ”

Watt, a former standout at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn, will be at his first NFL training camp soon enough.

After being a stalwart on Notre Dame’s offensive line the last three seasons — which included starting 34 consecutive games at left guard — Watt is projected to go in the third or fourth round in the draft in May. According to NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, Watt, who’s 6-2½, 310 pounds, is the fourth-best guard prospect.

Watt prides himself on his knowledge of blocking, detailing the subtle angles needed to handle linebackers. He’s also OK if a switch to center is needed, citing previous experience.

But “I’m a physical finisher,” Watt, a team leader at Notre Dame, is quick to point out.

“If you’re going to talk to anyone, they’re going to tell you that. I’m tough, and I bring a great mind-set and work ethic to the game.”

An MCL sprain suffered Nov.  30 at Stanford kept Watt out of the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 28 and also limited him at the combine. He took part in only one drill, benching 225 pounds 29 times.

Watt is training at the IMG Academy in Florida with other prospects, including Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin.

“I was cleared the other day to train fully now,” Watt said, “so I’m looking forward to getting back down to Florida after the combine and really working hard on these drills and getting ready for pro day [on March 20].”

Watt knows the Bears aren’t in desperate need of offensive linemen — “They did a great job last year,” he said — but he’s eager to prove he can be a long-term answer up front just like he was at Notre Dame.

“Being able to get Notre Dame back to where they had been in the past, it was really important to the program,” Watt said. “It was a lot of fun to do.”

Email: ajahns@suntimes.com

Twitter: @adamjahns



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