Former Penn State offensive lineman and math genius John Urschel is now a semifinalist for the Sullivan Award, given to the nation’s top amateur athlete.
Fans can log onto the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) website and vote for Urschel through March 23. Three finalists will be named later in March and the winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on Friday, April 11 at the AAU National Headquarters in Orlando, Fla.
First presented in 1930, the Sullivan Award honors an athlete who demonstrates the qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship, and the ideals of amateurism. Past football recipients of the Sullivan Award include College Football Hall of Fame inductees Felix “Doc” Blanchard (Army, 1945) and Charlie Ward (Florida State, 1993), as well as Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997) and Tim Tebow (Florida, 2007).
Other notable non-football Sullivan Award winners include Bruce Jenner, Jackie Joyner-Kersey, Michelle Kwan, Greg Louganis, Michael Phelps, Wilma Rudolph, and Mark Spitz.
Urschel has already claimed the Campbell Trophy, nicknamed the “academic Heisman.” He also was honored at the National Championship game at the Rose Bowl.
The team captain earned Associated Press third team All-America honors as well as back-to-back first team Academic All-America honors. He earned a bachelor’s in mathematics three years, a master’s in mathematics one year later, and is currently working on a second master’s degree in math education – all while maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA.