NEW YORK -- Penn State standout John Urschel (Williamsville, N.Y.) was named the recipient of the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy Tuesday night at the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's 56th annual celebration of college football.
A two-time first-team All-Big Ten honoree, Urschel is the first Penn State student-athlete to win the Campbell Trophy, which was first presented in 1990.
The William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, is presented to the nation's premier college football Scholar-Athlete. A two-time first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American®, Urschel will receive a total of $25,000 for post-graduate work.
"Words cannot describe how much this means to me," said Urschel. "I want to thank the National Football Foundation and, in particular, Archie Manning and Steve Hatchell. I want to thank my coaches, teammates and fans for their love and support while at Penn State. I am grateful for playing in front of 108,000 fans; the best fans in college football."
A 4.0 grade-point average student for Coach Bill O'Brien's squad, Urschel was the 17th Nittany Lion to be selected a Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete. He follows another standout offensive lineman and first-team Academic All-American®, Stefen Wisniewski (2010), on the distinguished list.
Penn State is tied for third in the nation (with Notre Dame) with its 17 Scholar-Athlete recipients. Nebraska (22) and Ohio State (20) are the only schools with more honorees than the Nittany Lions.
The Foundation's National Scholar-Athlete Awards are awarded on an annual basis to a select group of college football players in their senior year of eligibility who have demonstrated outstanding academic success, strong leadership, citizenship and superior football performance.
Urschel is the first Big Ten student-athlete since 2003 to win the Campbell Trophy and the fifth overall from a current Big Ten institution. Ohio State's Craig Krenzel was the 2003 recipient. Among some of the previous Campbell Trophy recipients are: Danny Wuerffel (1996), Peyton Manning (1997), Brian Leonard (2006), Tim Tebow (2009) and Barrett Jones (2012).
A 6-3, 301-pound guard, 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 and was among seven of the 171 Scholar-Athlete nominees with a 4.0 GPA from all NCAA and NAIA divisions.
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 on schedule to graduate this month. 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 plans to pursue a Ph.D. upon completion of his football career.
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 also is among 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award. The former Canisius High School standout, who was featured on the CBS Evening News earlier this month, was an Academic All-District® selection for the third consecutive year and is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Among some of the other 2013 Scholar-Athletes who joined Urschel in New York were: Max Bullough (Michigan State), Derek Carr (Fresno State), Spencer Long (Nebraska), James Morris (Iowa) and Aaron Murray (Georgia). Urschel, John Arena (Johns Hopkins) and Gabe Ikard (Oklahoma) are the three Scholar-Athletes with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
There are more than 120 chapters of the National Football Foundation, including the Central Pennsylvania Chapter.
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.
Penn State finished the season with a 7-5 record (4-4 in Big Ten), having won 15 of its last 22 games under second-year coach O'Brien. The Nittany Lions return 16 starters for the 2014 season (8 offense, 7 defense, 1 specialist), which begins August 30 vs. No. 15 UCF in the Croke Park Classic in Dublin, Ireland.
For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing 2014 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets or call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m