Penn State's math whiz Urschel gets national scholar-athlete award

Penn State guard John Urschel. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)
Penn State guard John Urschel. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)
Posted: November 02, 2013

Penn State senior guard John Urschel has been named a National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete, one of 16 football student-athletes chosen from across all NCAA and NAIA divisions, the NFF announced Thursday.

Urschel, who was named an Academic All-American last year, receives an $18,000 scholarship for post-graduate studies with the award, and also is a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy presented to the nation's top college football scholar-athlete.

The winner of the Campbell award, which carries an additional $25,000 post-graduate scholarship, will be announced Dec. 10 in New York where Urschel and the other scholar-athlete winners will be honored.

Urschel, in a statement from Penn State, said he was "extremely grateful for the honor."

"I am proud to represent both my team and university in a positive manner," he said, "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."

The NFF awards are awarded to college football players in their senior year of eligibility for their academic success, leadership, citizenship and football performance.

Urschel, who is teaching a calculus class this semester, is one of three winners who have compiled a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. The others are John Arena of Johns Hopkins and Gabe Ikard of Oklahoma.

Urschel becomes the 17th Penn State player to be selected as an NFF scholar athlete and the first since Stefen Wisniewski in 2010.

Urschel, a first-team All-Big Ten selection last year, is on the watch lists for the Outland Trophy and the Rotary Lombardi Award, and is one of 30 nominees for the Senior CLASS Award.

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