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July 22, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- - Former Penn State football student-athletes Ty Howle (Wake Forest, N.C.) and John Urschel (Williamsville, N.Y.) have been selected to the National Football Foundation's Hampshire Honor Society for the 2013 season.
In order to be considered for membership in the Hampshire Honor Society, a player must be a starter or significant reserve who maintains a cumulative 3.20 grade point average or higher in their last year of eligibility at an accredited NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III, or an NAIA college or university.
Howle started every game at center last season. He was instrumental in helping Penn State gain at least 350 yards in every game, scoring at least 23 points nine times. Howle helped Big Ten Freshman of the Year Christian Hackenberg throw for 2,955 yards and 20 touchdowns, breaking 11 school freshman and all-time game and season passing records, and Zach Zwinak and Bill Belton combine to rush for 1,792 yards in 2013.
A Dean's List student, Howle graduated in 3 1/2 years and was a four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
A starter at guard in all 24 games the past two seasons, Urschel was college football's most decorated student-athlete during the 2013 season. An Associated Press third-team All-American, Urschel graduated with undergraduate and master's degrees in Math with a 4.0 grade-point average. A two-time Capital One/CoSIDA first-team Academic All-American, Urschel became the first Penn State player to earn the National Football Foundation's prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy, regarded as college football's academic Heisman Trophy, and claimed the Senior CLASS Award for college football.
This past April, Urschel was named the recipient of the prestigious AAU Sullivan Award, presented to the nation's top amateur athlete. He was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the fifth round of the NFL Draft.
In its eighth year, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's current National Scholar-Athlete program, greatly expanding the number of scholar-athletes the NFF can recognize each year and further strengthening its leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes who play football at the more than 700 college and universities with football programs.
The NFF distributes more than $300,000 a year at the national level through the program to 16 individuals. Each winner of a National Scholar-Athlete Award receives an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. Additionally, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, is given to one member of each year's class as the absolute best. The winner of the Campbell receives a total scholarship of $25,000 and a 25-pound bronze trophy. Through, its chapter network, the NFF awards an additional $1 million to local high school student-athletes, bringing the NFF's annual scholarship total to more than $1.3 million.
The Hampshire Honor Society accolade is the latest recognition in a long line of academic achievement for members of the Penn State football program, who consistently are at or near the top nationally in academic success:
- During the spring semester, 46 members of Coach James Franklin's squad earned at least a 3.0 grade-point average, including three with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Among the 46 high achieving Nittany Lions this past semester, 24 posted a 3.5 GPA or higher, with 21 the passing the minimum 12 credits to earn Dean's List recognition;
- Penn State football student-athletes that enrolled in the University from 2003-06 earned a superlative NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 85 percent, according to the 2013 NCAA Graduation Rate Report. Penn State's GSR was among the top 10 percent in the nation, tied with Rutgers and TCU for No. 12 overall among the 124 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institutions.
- The Nittany Lions' football graduation rate was tied for No. 2 among all public FBS schools, trailing only Boise State. Penn State's graduation figure was 15 points higher than the 70 percent FBS average and was second to Northwestern among Big Ten institutions, according to the NCAA in October, 2013;
- The Penn State football program has had 63 Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America® selections all-time, including first-team honoree Urschel in 2012 and '13, the second-highest total among all Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institutions.
- The Nittany Lions' 18 Academic All-Americans® over the past eight seasons (16 first-team) leads the nation. The Penn State football team has had a least one first-team Academic All-American® in 10 of the past 12 seasons (19 overall first-team selections since 2002).
- A total of 332 Penn State football student-athletes have earned Academic All-Big Ten honors since 1993 for owning at least a 3.0 grade point average and being a letterwinner. The Nittany Lions had 24 honorees last fall.