Urschel Tabbed Nation’s Top Scholar/Athlete
John Urschel Penn State

Posted Dec 10, 2013


The All-Big Ten offensive lineman wins the prestegious William V. Campbell Trophy at the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's 56th annual celebration.

Penn State standout John Urschel (Williamsville, N.Y) was named the recipient of the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy Tuesda night at the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's 56th annual celebration of college football.

A two-time first-team All-Big Ten honoree, Urschel is the first Penn State student-athlete to win the Campbell Trophy, which was first presented in 1990.

The William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, is presented to the nation's premier college football Scholar-Athlete. A two-time first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American®, Urschel will receive a total of $25,000 for post-graduate work.

"Words cannot describe how much this means to me,” said Urschel. “I want to thank the National Football Foundation and, in particular, Archie Manning and Steve Hatchell. I want to thank my coaches, teammates and fans for their love and support while at Penn State. I am grateful for playing in front of 108,000 fans; the best fans in college football."

A 4.0 grade-point average student for Coach Bill O’Brien’s squad, Urschel was the 17th Nittany Lion to be selected a Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete. He 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 the Nittany Lions.  

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.         

Urschel is the first Big Ten student-athlete since 2003 to win the Campbell Trophy and the fifth overall from a current Big Ten institution. Ohio State’s Craig Krenzel was the 2003 recipient. Among some of the previous Campbell Trophy recipients are:  Danny Wuerffel (1996), Peyton Manning (1997), Brian Leonard (2006), Tim Tebow (2009) and Barrett Jones (2012).   

A 6-foot-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.

Urschel also is among 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award. The former Canisius High School standout, who was featured on the CBS Evening News earlier this month, was an Academic All-District® selection for the third consecutive year and is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.


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