UNIVERSITY PARK -- For the 10th time in the past 12 years, the Penn State football team has a first-team Capital One Academic All-American® as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Senior John Urschel earned his second consecutive first-team honor to become the 11th Nittany Lion to earn first-team Academic All-America® honors twice. Urschel, a two-time first-team All-Big Ten guard, and Oklahoma center Gabe Ikard were the only repeat selections on the 2013 team.
A 4.0 GPA student and co-captain, Urschel is the Penn State football team's 63rd Academic All-America® selection all-time, the second-highest total among all Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institutions, trailing only Nebraska.
“I am honored to be have been selected an Academic All-American and join Penn State's other two-time honorees,” 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 of all of my professors, coaches, teammates, friends and family for their support and helping me in everything I do.”
The Nittany Lions' 18 Academic All-Americans® over the past eight seasons (16 first-team) leads the nation. The Penn State football team has had a least one first-team Academic All-American® in 10 of the past 12 seasons (19 overall first-team selections since 2002).
Since starting Big Ten Conference competition in 1993, the Nittany Lion football team has had 29 Academic All-Americans®, 23 of whom earned first-team honors.
Penn State's 183 all-time Academic All-America® selections all-time in all sports ranks No. 3 among NCAA Divison I institutions.
A starter in all 24 games the past two seasons for Coach Bill O'Brien's squad, Urschel was an Academic All-District® selection for the third consecutive year. Urschel, who was featured on the CBS Evening News earlier this week, was joined by linebacker Ben Kline, a redshirt sophomore, on the All-District® team for the second straight year.
Urschel is among the eight Nittany Lions who had earned their degrees prior to the season, with five more seniors on schedule to graduate this month. Urschel graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average in math, 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.
A two-time first-team All-Big Ten guard, Urschel was selected a prestigious National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete, earning $18,000 for post-graduate studies. In addition to being among the 16 finalists for the NFF's William V. Campbell Trophy, Urschel also is among 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award. The former Canisius High School standout is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
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.
Urschel joins a distinctive list of Penn State's two-time first-team Academic All-Americans® that includes: John Runnells (1965-66), Harry Hamilton (1982-83), Lance Hamilton (1984-85), Jeff Hartings (1994-95), Paul Posluszny (2005-06), Gerald Cadogan (2007-08), Josh Hull (2008-09), Andrew Pitz (2008-09), Stefen Wisniewski (2008-10), the Nittany Lions' only three-time Academic All-American®, and Pete Massaro (2010, '12).
The Capital One Academic All-District® Football Team was selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30 on a scale of 4.00 and have achieved sophomore academic eligibility.
In October, NCAA data revealed that the Penn State Football student-athletes earned an 85 percent Graduation Success Rate, second among Big Ten Conference institutions and in the top 10 percent among the nation's 124 FBS institutions.