Urschel earns prestigious academic award

Penn State offensive guard John Urschel has added yet another accolade to his off-the-field accomplishments.

During the National Football Foundation's 56th annual awards dinner on Tuesday night, the All-Big Ten lineman earned the William V. Campbell Trophy, which goes to the nation's top college football student-athlete. He was one of 16 finalists.

"I am proud to represent both my team and university in a positive manner," he said prior to receiving the award, "and thank my professors, coaches, teammates and family for the support and guidance in my years as a Penn State student-athlete."

Academic accomplishments have been the norm for the senior offensive guard, but this recognition came on basically the largest stage possible. The dinner was streamed on ESPN3, and Urschel became the first Big Ten player to win since Ohio State quarterback/molecular genetics major Craig Krenzel.

Urschel's resume certainly doesn't read like a college student. He's publishing two papers in reputable journals -- and you can't really be blamed for not even understanding the titles. His first paper was titled, "Instabilities of the Sun-Jupiter-Asteroid Three Body Problem" and found its way inside Celestial Mechanics and Dynamic Astronomy. The second was accepted this year -- "A Space-Time Multigrid Method for the Numerical Valuation of Barrier Options" -- in Communications in Mathematical Finance.

Urschel boasts a 4.0 GPA, will graduate from PSU with two master's degrees -- and claims to be mathematically unbeatable in Connect Four. He teaches a math class, Integral Vector Calculus, and plans to pursue a Ph.D. once his football career's finished.

As part of the William V. Campbell Trophy, Urschel will also receive $25,000 for post-graduate work.