Skip to comments.Penn State's John Urschel takes home prestigious scholar-athlete award
Posted on 12/10/2013 7:07:46 PM PST by FlJoePa
Senior right guard John Urschels academic and athletic pursuits are well known in State College and beyond. The mathematics major who is working on a second masters degree and who holds a perfect 4.0 grade point average added to his academic and athletic accolades Tuesday evening.
Urschel was honored in New York City at the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's annual black-tie event where he was named the winner of the William V. Campbell Trophy. The two-time All-Big Ten first team honoree was one of 16 finalists for the award, widely regarded as the Academic Heisman, and receives a $25,000 scholarship for post-graduate work.
Im up here with 15 great football players and not just that, but guys who epitomize what it means to be a true student athlete, Urschel said. I truly enjoyed my five years at Penn State. Being able to play football for a legend, being able to have the opportunity to go to school on scholarship, make the most of my years there and truly just really quench my thirst for knowledge.
Urschel is the 17th Nittany Lion to be honored as a scholar athlete and the first since Stefen Wisniewski was a finalist for the award in 2010. Penn States 17 scholar-athlete finalists ties them for the third most in the nation and Urschel is the first Penn State player to receive the award since it was announced in 1990.
In addition to Urschels own academic pursuits he began teaching undergraduate classes last spring and this semester is teaching sophomore and junior engineering students. The player who started all 24 games during the last two years joked during the press conference in the morning that his students were probably relieved that he was out of town for a couple days so his class was canceled.
Words cannot describe how much this means to me, Urschel said. I would like to thank Penn State for wasting their second to last scholarship in the class of 2009 on an unheralded, two star, 260-pound offensive lineman from Buffalo, New York. Im so grateful for that scholarship, grateful to play in front of 108,000 of the best fans in college football every Saturday and grateful to earn both a bachelors and masters degree in the process.
Urschels public speaking skills were on display yet again during the award presentation where he delivered a brief, but well-composed speech thanking Penn State, the fans, the other finalists as well as the National Football Foundation. He delivered the keynote address at the Big Tens annual kickoff luncheon in July and has always come across as very calm and thoughtful when speaking to a crowd.
Tuesdays black-tie event at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel proved to be no different.
Id like to thank my fellow finalists who have continued the tradition of showing that the pairing of academics and athletics is not just reasonable but necessary, he said. They show that the characteristics of discipline, dedication, competition and integrity are not just applicable to one component of our lives but rather transcend the boundaries between the football field, the classroom and the community.
Furthermore, these young men Ive had the pleasure of interacting with serve as a prime example that the notion of the student-athlete succeeding both on the field and in the classroom is still very much alive and relevant.
The average GPA for 16 finalists was a 3.79 and among them were 15 captains and 15 academic All-Americans. Urschel is also a two-time first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American.
Well deserved, John Urschel!
“May our lives but swell thy fame...”
A 6-3, 301-pound guard, Urschel has established himself as one of the nation’s exceptional football student-athletes. A starter in all 24 games the past two seasons and the anchor of the offensive line, 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.
Elected a 2013 co-captain, Urschel is among the eight Nittany Lions who had earned their degrees prior to the season, with five more seniors on schedule to graduate this month. Urschel graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average in math in three years, earned his master’s degree in math in one year, and is working on a second master’s, in math education while maintaining his 4.0 GPA. Urschel plans to pursue a Ph.D. upon completion of his football career.
Urschel has taught a section of Math 232 - Integral Vector Calculus - this semester on the University Park campus, in addition to his academic and football responsibilities. He taught a section of Math 041 - Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry - during the 2013 spring semester. 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, and has written two additional papers that will be submitted soon for consideration to be published.
My Daughter had him this year during her Junior work in P&G. She was impressed. That is saying a lot.
The only three big time schools that offered him a scholarship were PSU, Stanford, and Boston College.
3 schools that actually believe in the term “student athlete”.
She was torn between whether he should remain an athlete or become a teacher. She felt he taught better than her professors and his sections filled up quickly. It is interesting the lip service paid to student athletes.