The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I FBS football coaches, national football media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I football. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be a senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, community, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
"I am honored and grateful to have been selected the Senior CLASS Award recipient,” Urschel said. “I have tried to represent my team, university and family as best possible during my time at Penn State. I am very appreciative and thank my family, professors, coaches, teammates and friends for all their support and help they have provided with all my academic and football pursuits at Penn State."
Senior All-American Ariel Scott was announced as the Senior CLASS Award winner for women’s volleyball last week, making Penn State just the third school to have a pair of Senior CLASS Award winners in the same year. Florida (2008-09) and Army (2012-13) are the other two.
A two-time first-team All-Big Ten honoree, Urschel became the first Penn State student-athlete to win the Campbell Trophy. The award, which was first presented in 1990, is bestowed up the nation's premier college football Scholar-Athlete and presented annually at the National Football Foundation Dinner.
“John Urschel epitomizes what a Penn State student-athlete is all about,” head coach Bill O’Brien said. “He has maximized his opportunities at Penn State by working extremely hard to become a fantastic student and football player who will continue to achieve great things in the next chapter of his life.”
A two-time first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American®, Urschel has established himself as one of the nation's exceptional football student-athletes. A starter in all 24 games the past two seasons and the anchor of the offensive line, he has earned a 4.0 grade-point average during his Penn State career.
“John is the definition of a true student-athlete. He’s shown what a great role model a student-athlete can be for youth everywhere,” said Erik Miner, executive director for the Senior CLASS Award. “His accomplishments on and off the field make him an outstanding representative of the Senior CLASS Award.”
Elected a 2013 co-captain, Urschel is among the eight Nittany Lions who had earned their degrees prior to the season, with five more seniors graduating this past weekend. Urschel graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average 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.
Urschel has taught a section of Math 232 - Integral Vector Calculus - this semester on the University Park campus, in addition to his academic and football responsibilities. He taught a section of Math 041 - 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, and has written two additional papers that will be submitted soon for consideration to be published.
The former Canisius High School standout was featured on the CBS Evening News earlier this month, was an Academic All-District® selection for the third consecutive year and is a four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
--Penn State Athletic Communications
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