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Penn State’s Urschel joins elite group in winning Sullivan Award

John Urschel AP

When it comes to academics and football, it’d be hard if not impossible for any present-day player to top Penn State’s John Urschel.

In December of 2013, the offensive lineman was named the winner of the prestigious Campbell Trophy, commonly referred to as the “Academic Heisman.”  Friday night, Urschel added additional educational hardware to his trophy case as he was named the recipient of the 84th James E. Sullivan Award, presented annually by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) to the nation’s’s top amateur athlete.

Urschel was one of 19 semifinalists and two finalists for the award — Florida track and field athlete Cory Ann McGee and Nebraska volleyball player Kelsey Robinson.

In taking home the Sullivan Award, Urschel became the seventh college football player to stake his claim to the iconic honor, joining Felix “Doc” Blanchard (Army, 1945), Arnold Tucker (Army, 1946), Charlie Ward (Florida State, 1993), Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997), Tim Tebow (Florida, 2007) and Andrew Rodriguez (Army, 2011)


Urschel, Manning, Tebow and Rodriguez are the only college football players who have won both the Sullivan Award and Campbell Trophy.

In addition to his mental prowess, Urschel is also a pretty damn good football player.  A third-team All-American in 2013, the interior lineman was named first-team All-Big Ten each of the past two seasons.  He participated in the NFL’s scouting combine this past February and is expected to be selected in the upcoming draft.

Urschel’s academic career is not behind him, however; after earning a bachelor’s in mathematics in May 2012 and a master’s in mathematics in 2013, he has continued his work on a second master’s degree in math education.

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6 Responses to “Penn State’s Urschel joins elite group in winning Sullivan Award”
  1. barkleyblows says: Apr 12, 2014 10:47 AM

    You’d never see this in the SEC…

    It’s also sad this guy goes to Ped State.. What a waste.

  2. eloso1 says: Apr 12, 2014 11:15 AM

    Why is it sad? I’m not sure I’m following.

  3. dmvtransplant says: Apr 12, 2014 11:21 AM

    @ barkleyblows

    You’re Anti-Penn State crap doesn’t fly when the article is about John Urschel. He’s accomplished more in 2 years than you will in the next 30.

  4. youcantmakemepickausername says: Apr 12, 2014 12:40 PM


    Wow, congratulations! I would say that your post is the dumbest I’ve ever seen on CFT, but since this is the site where someone once said “hey moron, Archie Griffin is white!”, you don’t get first prize but you’re a solid second!!

    Regarding your first statement, I suggest you go to google, type in “what conference is Tennessee in”, then look again at the list of previous football players that have won the award and where they went to school. (holy crap, your post was SO dumb I’m actually defending the SEC.)

    As far as you’re second statement, I’ll just second what dmvtransplant said.

  5. kosarkid says: Apr 12, 2014 2:48 PM

    But…But everyone said that JOEPA was soley responsible for the academic success at Ped State. Guess they’re wrong about that part of Joe’s history too.

  6. musketmaniac says: Apr 12, 2014 4:06 PM

    must agree, this is not a hate psu issue. let the kid have his day. we got the next twenty years to enjoy kicking those nittany around. you got to pace yourself.

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