Defensive end Pete Massaro and guard John Urschel helped the Nittany Lions finish tops in the nation in the classroom.
Massaro, a senior, and Urschel, a junior, are the Lions’ 50th and 51st first-team Academic All-Americans, as chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Penn State and Notre Dame are the only Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) or Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) schools with two first-team Academic All-Americans.
Penn State’s 51 all-time football Academic All-Americans ranks third nationally among the 120 FBS institutions. The Lions’ 17 All-Americans over the past seven seasons leads the nation.
Massaro becomes the 10th Lion in school history to become a two-time first-team selection. He graduated in December 2011 with a 3.85 grade-point average in finance and is on schedule to earn a second degree in economics this month.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” Massaro said in a prepared statement. “I actually had this date circled on my calendar. This is one of the things you work for when you are a college student-athlete.”
Urschel earned his first Academic All-America selection to go with two all-district accolades. He graduated in three years with a 4.0 grade-point average in mathematics and is on schedule to earn a master’s degree in math in May.
The 2012 first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches served as the student marshal for the Penn State math graduates at the this past spring’s commencement.
The math research student recently had his first paper accepted for publication, titled, “Instabilities in the Sun-Jupiter-Asteroid Three Body Problem.” It has been accepted by the journal, Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy.
Massaro and Urschel were joined on the Academic All-District team by teammates defensive end Brad Bars and Dallastown linebacker Ben Kline.