Campbell Trophy winner Urschel to be honored at BCS National Championship

January 06, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The National Football Foundation (NFF) and the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) announced that Penn State standout John Urschel (Williamsville, N.Y.), the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy recipient, will be honored on the field during the first quarter of the VIZIO BCS National Championship between No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 Auburn.

The BCS title game is 8:30 p.m. tonight (Jan. 6) at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on ESPN. National Football Foundation President & CEO Steve Hatchell will make the presentation to Urschel in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 93,000 fans.

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.

A two-time first-team All-Big Ten honoree and a 2013 Associated Press third-team All-American, Urschel is the first Penn State student-athlete to win the Campbell Trophy, which was first presented in 1990. Urschel claimed the 25-pound bronze trophy Dec. 10 in front of a sold-out crowd during the 56th NFF Annual Award Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

"The national championship game provides the ultimate platform for showcasing the educational opportunities created by college football for the student-athletes who play our game,” said BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock. “The Campbell Trophy and 2013 recipient John Urschel represent the fulfillment of that promise at the highest level. By featuring the Campbell Trophy, we hope to inspire future young people to build a foundation that will benefit them long after they leave the playing field.”

"College football is not just about wins and losses,” said Hatchell. “It’s about preparation for life, and the Campbell Trophy stands as the ultimate symbol of that sentiment. Tens of thousands of young people annually benefit from football’s unique ability to prepare them for the future. We are extremely pleased to partner with the BCS conference commissioners and Bill Hancock to highlight the amazing accomplishments of John Urschel during the championship game as a powerful example of the positive impact of our sport.”

A 6-3, 301-pound guard, Urschel established himself as one of the nation's exceptional football student-athletes in recent years. A starter in all 24 games the past two seasons and the anchor of the offensive line, he earned a 4.0 grade-point average throughout his Penn State career. Urschel earned his degree in math in three years, graduated with a master’s degree in math in one year, and is working on a second master’s, in math education, while maintaining his 4.0 grade-point average.

Elected a co-captain, Urschel also was the 2013 Senior CLASS Award winner among college football student-athletes nationwide. He was among the eight Nittany Lions who had earned their degrees prior to the 2013 season, with five more seniors graduating last month.

Urschel was the 17th Nittany Lion to be selected a NFF Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete. Penn State is tied for third in the nation (with Notre Dame) with its 17 Scholar-Athlete recipients. 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 taught a section of Math 232 – Integral Vector Calculus – during the 2013 fall 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 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.

Penn State returns 15 starters for the 2014 season (seven offense, seven defense, one specialist), which begins Aug. 30 vs. 2014 Fiesta Bowl champion UCF in the Croke Park Classic in Dublin. The Nittany Lions are one of only four teams nationally playing three BCS teams during the 2014 campaign. Penn State will host Rose Bowl champion Michigan State, Ohio State, Northwestern and Maryland during its 2014 Big Ten home schedule.

For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing 2014 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, visit or call 800-NITTANY from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.

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Last Updated June 20, 2014