John Urschel wins Campbell Trophy as college football’s top student-athlete

The evidence, so to speak, was clear for quite some time.

John Urschel has always been a 4.0 student in college.

He’s already had one of his math/science research papers published in a journal. He has another approved for publishing.

He not only aces higher math classes at Penn State, he teaches them.

He also has been the subject of several feature stories focusing on his academic talents, like this one from last summer.

John Urschel is Penn State's first Campbell Trophy winner.

John Urschel is Penn State’s first Campbell Trophy winner.

But, finally, he earned the honor tonight for all the nation to see. He was the recipient of the prestigious Campbell Trophy, given to the top student athlete in 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. He will receive $25,000 for post-graduate work.

“Words cannot describe how much this means to me,” Urschel said in a prepared statement. “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.”

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 Big Ten school. Ohio State’s Craig Krenzel was the 2003 recipient. Other Campbell Trophy winners include Danny Wuerffel (1996), Peyton Manning (1997) and Tim Tebow (2009).

Of course, Urschel also was a standout on the football field. The 6-foot-3, 301-pound guard started all 24 games the past two seasons and was the anchor of the offensive line.

Elected a 2013 co-captain, Urschel is among the eight Nittany Lions who had earned their degrees prior to the season. He graduated with an undergrad degree 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.

He plans to pursue a Ph.D. upon completion of his football career.

Through it all, Urschel has been teaching — integral vector calculus this semester and 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. He 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 and was featured on the CBS Evening News earlier this month.

This entry was posted in Awards/honors, Big Ten, Bill O'Brien, Football, John Urschel, Penn State and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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