HOUSTON It s easy to tell who the most popular Houston Texans player is.

As soon as #99 runs onto the field, the fans absolutely go crazy.

I mean, doing a drill, jogging, walking, getting a drink of water. They cheer for everything. Watt said after practice on Sunday. I thoroughly love it.

In return for that attention, Watt has taken time after each practice to meet with the fans. He signs autographs, poses for pictures, and even shoots some video with their phones.

To some that s silly. For J.J., it s something he feels like he has to do.

I enjoy it so much and that s why I try and spend as much time with them as I can. Because, like I ve always said, some day it will not be like this, Watt said. I m very, very thankful and I m very fortunate. I love this city and I love the people here. I hope I stay here for a long, long time.

But as J.J. s popularity off the field grows, his leadership skills while in uniform has increased as well. Entering his fourth season, Watt is no longer seen as a player that is still trying to find his way.

I m like an old man now. But it s definitely a little bit different role than in the past but I enjoy it, Watt said. I thoroughly enjoy it and I thoroughly enjoy being able to help some of the young guys out.

When the Texans drafted Jadeveon Clowney #1 overall back in May, one of the first things most pundits and experts said was that Watt will become an instant mentor to talented defensive end out of South Carolina.

It turns out; many more players are coming to him for advice.

I m always trying to lead by example. I m going to go out here and try to do things the right way, try and show the guys that I m all-in. Obviously, with a lot of the young guys, I m a little bit older now I m 25, so I m a little bit older I m trying to help them as much as I can, Watt said. I m telling them little tips, just some of the little things: how to be a pro off the field, how to take care of your body, how to take care of your business. And then on the field, little tricks, little tips that I ve learned through my few years. (I m) doing as much as I can. Just getting in guys ears and letting them know what they can do to be a better player.

It may seem new to him now, but that has been J.J s goal since the first time he became a Texan.

It s cool to have a guy come up and ask, How can I learn? How can I get better? What can I do? Just little things, sitting in the cafeteria, What should I do training-wise? How should I eat? Watt said. That stuff is really neat to be able to talk about because that means guys are interested. That means guys are trying to get better and trying to improve and that s what you love.

If his teaching skills are anything like his ability to play defensive end, then the Texans will be in very good shape.

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