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Former Penn State offensive lineman joins College Football Playoff selection committee

ADAM BITTNER
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (TNS)
John Urschel, center, seen here in a file photo, has joined the College Football Playoff selection committee.

During his playing career at Penn State, John Urschel was known as much for his prodigious math skills as his stellar play along the offensive line. 

It seems appropriate, then, that he’ll now crunch numbers to help determine which teams compete for his sport’s national championship. The College Football Playoff announced Wednesday that the former Nittany Lion is joining its selection committee. 

On the field, Urschel earned All-Big Ten honors twice in 2012 and 2013. He was then drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2014 and played in the NFL for three seasons before retiring in 2017. 

Off the field, Urschel earned numerous academic honors, including the James E. Sullivan award, presented to the “most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States,” and the William V. Campbell trophy, known as the “academic Heisman” after its counterpart that recognizes on-field achievements.

He has two Penn State degrees and has since written a book about his dual passions for math and football.

Now, he’s joining the panel that determines the four teams that play each year in the college playoff. 

Colorado athletic director Rick George and Wyoming athletic director Tom Burman were the other new members announced Wednesday. All of them will serve three-year terms.

"Tom, Rick and John each bring an exciting breadth of experiences and expertise to the committee," executive director Bill Hancock said in a news release. "All three will continue the CFP tradition of committee members with high integrity and passion for the sport of college football.”

Robert Morris president Chris Howard also serves on the committee.