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Former Teammates Watt, Carimi Not Exactly Friends

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By Adam Hoge-

HALAS HALL (CBS) Bret Bielema couldn’t help but laugh.

Asked to look back on some of the great practice battles between J.J. Watt and Gabe Carimi at the University of Wisconsin, the Badgers head coach chuckled before painting a very competitive picture.

“I remember one occasion during practice where I was watching the play, following it naturally along the outside edge to the right and I’d look back to my left and my two best players are entangled in a little fight on the ground,” Bielema said Tuesday.

During Wisconsin’s 2010 Rose Bowl run, Watt and Carimi were the Badgers’ top two NFL prospects going up against each other every single day in practice. They also happened to be two of the more competitive, hardest working players on the team.

And they weren’t exactly buddy-buddy.

“Me and J.J. weren’t friends or anything, but I respect him,” Carimi said Wednesday.

Bielema painted a similar picture.

“They are two of our alphas. They definitely are A-Personality types that love to be dominant on the field,” Bielema said. “I know they are going against each other just out of respect. As many one-on-ones as they could handle, as many situations as they could compete against each other in practice, they jumped at the opportunity even when our coaches weren’t necessarily putting them in those spots.”

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