The embodiment of a student-athlete, John Urschel was selected a first-team All-Big Ten guard and a first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2012. Urschel enters his fifth-year senior season as arguably college football's premier student-athlete. Among the top returning offensive linemen in the Big Ten, Urschel's contributions to the Penn State football program stretch from his leadership in the locker room and on the field to his unrivaled success in the classroom. Penn State's 2012-13 Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient, Urschel is poised to be among the primary candidates for the William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by the National Football Foundation to the nation's top football scholar-athlete. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Urschel graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average in mathematics in May 2012, less than three years after enrolling in the University. He immediately began working on a master's degree in math and graduated in May 2013 with a 4.0 GPA. Urschel has begun working on a master's in math education, with the plan of earning a Ph.D. after his football career has been completed. During the 2013 spring semester, Urschel taught a section of Math 041 -- Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry -- to Penn State undergraduate students three days a week in addition to his own academic work and football responsibilities. He also is doing research in multigrid methods and computational mathematics. The hard-working, strong and physical guard had a paper published -- "Instabilities of the Sun-Jupiter-Asteroid Three Body Problem" -- last spring in the journal, Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy. Urschel was named recipient of the Ernest B. McCoy Memorial Award, presented annually by Penn State for athletic and academic excellence, in April. The engaging and focused Urschel also is among the squad's most active members in community service activities. The Canisius High School standout opened the 2012 campaign atop the depth chart at right guard and started all 12 games. Following another superlative off-season in the weight room, Urschel will anchor the Nittany Lion offensive line in 2013. He is among the team leaders in the weight room, lifting 500 pounds in the squat. He will have an opportunity to become the 11th Nittany Lion to attain first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America honors twice, six of whom have been selected since 2006.
Urschel has started all 24 games at right guard the past two seasons. He was instrumental in helping Hackenberg break several school freshman and all-time game and season passing records and Zach Zwinak and Bill Belton combine to rush for 1,792 yards this season. Urschel joins Jeff Hartings (1993-95) and Stefen Wisniewski (2009-10) as the Nittany Lions' offensive linemen to earn multiple first-team All-Big Ten accolades. Urschel was the recipient or co-recipient of the offensive line's player of the game honor in 10 of 12 games this season. He graded out at nearly 90 percent for the season. Urschel graduated with undergraduate and master's degrees in Math with a 4.0 grade-point average. A finalist for the National Football Foundation's William V. Campbell Trophy, the former Canisius High School standout also is among 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award for college football.
Urschel was selected first-team All-Big Ten and a first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American. He started all 12 games at right guard and was instrumental in helping the Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in total offense (437.0 ypg) in conference games and rank second in scoring offense (32.6 ppg) and second in pass offense (283.1 ypg) against Big Ten foes. He helped Penn State gain more than 500 yards of total offense three times in conference play, topped by 546 yards against Indiana, its highest total against a Big Ten foe since 2008. Urschel played a vital role in helping pave the way for 1,000-yard rusher Zach Zwinak and protecting quarterback Matt McGloin during his record-setting campaign. He also was a first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree and was named Academic All-Big Ten for the third time. Urschel graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average in May 2012, less than three years after enrolling at Penn State, and was the student marshal for the mathematics graduates at commencement.
Playing in every game, Urschel helped Penn State lead the Big Ten in fewest sacks allowed, with 14 in 13 games. He played an important role in helping clear running lanes for tailback Silas Redd (1,241 yards), giving Penn State a 1,000-yard rusher for the seventh consecutive season. Urschel and the offensive line lifted Penn State to an improvement of 41 rushing yards per game in Big Ten games (178.1 ypg) compared to the initial four non-conference tilts (137.0 ypg). Urschel earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for the second consecutive year. In the 13-3 win over Iowa, Urschel helped clear the way as Penn State rushed for 231 yards. On a pivotal fourth-quarter drive, Penn State ran the ball 10 times, with the offensive line controlling the line of scrimmage and leading the way to four first downs to set up a late touchdown against the Hawkeyes. In the win over Indiana State, Urschel and the O-line led the way for 245 yards on the ground. Against No. 2 Alabama, the offense totaled 16 first downs and 251 yards and did not allow a sack against one of the nation's top defenses. In the victory over Eastern Michigan, Urschel helped the offense amass a season-high 468 total yards, including 364 through the air, and was part of an offensive line effort that did not allow a sack. He helped Penn State compile 464 yards of offense (193 rushing, 271 passing), run a season-high 86 plays and hold the ball for 37:27 in the victory at Indiana. Urschel was on the field for 396 snaps during the season, including highs of 60 against Alabama and 52 in the Indiana game.
Urschel saw his most significant career action against Indiana, starting and playing on 66 snaps at right guard in the 41-24 win. He helped the Nittany Lions gain 496 yards and 24 first downs in the victory at FedEx Field. He also played against Youngstown State and Kent State. Urschel compiled his third and fourth consecutive 4.00 grade-point averages during the fall and spring semesters. He earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for the first time.
A defensive tackle at Canisius High School, Urschel earned all-state and Western New York Lineman-of-the-Year honors under Coach Brandon Harris. During his senior season, he recorded 77 tackles and 4.5 sacks. A senior captain on the gridiron, Urschel also was a three-year captain with the track and field team.
Full name is John Cameron Urschel. He is the son of Venita Parker and John Urschel. In his spare time, Urschel enjoys reading and playing the guitar. He graduated with a degree in mathematics in May 2012 and earned his master's degree in math in May 2013, maintaining his perfect 4.0 grade-point average. He is working on a second master's degree, in math education. He served as the student marshal for mathematics majors at the 2012 spring commencement. Born June 24, 1991 in Winnipeg, Canada.