Urschel Earns Prestigious NFF Scholar-Athlete Scholarship
Oct. 31, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; October 31, 2013 - One of the most prestigious honors a collegiate football student-athlete can earn has been bestowed upon Penn State senior John Urschel.
The 2012 first team All-Big Ten guard and first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American® has been selected one of 16 National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athletes, presented by Fidelity Investments, from across all NCAA and NAIA divisions.
Urschel will receive an $18,000 scholarship for post-graduate studies. He also is a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, presented to the nation's premier college football Scholar-Athlete, with the winner receiving a total of $25,000 for post-graduate work.
From Williamsville, N.Y., Urschel is the 17th Nittany Lion to be selected a Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete and follows another standout offensive lineman and first-team Academic All-American®, Stefen Wisniewski (2010), on the distinguished list.
Penn State is tied for third in the nation (with Notre Dame) with its 17 Scholar-Athlete recipients. Nebraska (22) and Ohio State (20) are the only schools with more honorees than Penn State.
The 2013 Scholar-Athletes will be honored at the National Football Foundation's 56th Annual black tie awards dinner on December 10 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
"I am extremely grateful for the honor of being named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete," Urschel said. "I am proud to represent both my team and university in a positive manner, and thank my professors, coaches, teammates and family for the support and guidance in my years as a Penn State student-athlete. I take great pride in excelling in the classroom and on the field and I look forward to meeting all the recipients in December."
The Foundation's National Scholar-Athlete Awards are awarded on an annual basis to a select group of college football players in their senior year of eligibility who have demonstrated outstanding academic success, strong leadership, citizenship and superior football performance.
"We are extremely proud to present the 2013 National Scholar-Athlete Class," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "With an average GPA of 3.79, these young men have a discernible and unrelenting commitment to excellence in the classroom as well as on the field. This class represents all that is right about college football, and the members serve as living examples of our mission to build leaders through football."
Among the other 2013 Scholar-Athletes joining Urschel are: Max Bullough (Michigan State), Derek Carr (Fresno State), Spencer Long (Nebraska), James Morris (Iowa) and Aaron Murray (Georgia). Urschel, John Arena (Johns Hopkins) and Gabe Ikard (Oklahoma) are the three Scholar-Athletes with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
In addition to Stefen Wisniewski, among the other Penn Staters to earn the prestigious Scholar-Athlete honor since its inception are: Mark Markovich (1973), Lance Hamilton (1985), Tony Pittman (1994), Jeff Hartings (1995), Wally Richardson (1996), Aaron Collins (1997) and Paul Posluszny (2006). Director of Athletics Dave Joyner was Penn State's first Scholar-Athlete recipient in 1971.
A 6-3, 301-pound guard, Urschel has established himself as one of the nation's exceptional football student-athletes. A 2012 first team CoSIDA Academic All-American®, he has earned a 4.0 grade-point average during his Penn State career and was among seven of the 171 Scholar-Athlete nominees with a 4.0 GPA from all NCAA and NAIA divisions.
Urschel has started 19 consecutive games for Coach Bill O'Brien's squad. He earned first team All-Big Ten honors last season after blocking for a 1,000-yard rusher in Zach Zwinak and 3,000-yard passer Matt McGloin. He is on the Watch Lists for the 2013 Outland Trophy and the Rotary Lombardi Award. Urschel also is one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award.
A Penn State game captain three times in the first seven contests this season, Urschel earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics over the past four years. The former Canisius High School standout anchors the Nittany Lions' offensive line, and is working on a second master's degree, in math education.
Urschel has an opportunity this fall to earn his fourth straight nod on the Academic All-Big Ten squad, his third selection to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District® team and his second Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America® selection.
Urschel taught a section of Math 041 - Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry - during Penn State's spring 2013 semester and is teaching a section of Math 232 - Integral Vector Calculus - this semester, in addition to his academic and football responsibilities. Urschel has participated in the Penn State Lift for Life, THON events, the Relay for Life and the Special Olympics Pennsylvania State Summer Games during his collegiate career.
A paper written by Urschel titled, "Instabilities of the Sun-Jupiter-Asteroid Three Body Problem" was published in 2012 in the journal, Celestial Mechanics and Dynamic Astronomy. He has a second paper accepted for publication, "A Space-Time Multigrid Method for the Numerical Valuation of Barrier Options" in the journal, Communications in Mathematical Finance.
There are more than 120 chapters of the National Football Foundation, including the Central Pennsylvania Chapter.
Tickets are available for the Nittany Lions' final three home games against Illinois (Nov. 2, 12 p.m. - THON Day), Purdue (Nov. 16 - Military Appreciation Day) and Nebraska (Nov. 23 - Senior Day). For information on single game tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets or call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.