Grand Marshal

2017 Grand Marshal: John Urschel



John Urschel is a former Penn State football player, retired Baltimore Ravens football player, and current mathematician pursuing his Ph.D. at MIT.

John Urschel completed his B.S. in Mathematics, with a minor in Statistics, at Penn State University in 2012 with a 4.0 GPA. He then obtained his M.A. in Mathematics from Penn State in 2013. Not only did John Urschel excel in the classroom during this time, but he also taught several mathematics courses at the university, published a number of peer-reviewed articles, and played on the Nittany Lions’ offensive line. John Urschel was the 2012 Student Marshal for the Mathematics graduation ceremony, recipient of the 2013 William J. Campbell trophy (also known as the “academic Heisman”), and recipient of the 2014 James E. Sullivan award as the country’s top amateur athlete, among other numerous accolades and honors.

Following completion of his Master’s, John Urschel was drafted to the Baltimore Ravens in the 2014 NFL Draft, where he played three seasons as a guard on the offensive line. Following his retirement from the NFL in July of 2017, John Urschel began working toward his doctorate in Mathematics at MIT.

John Urschel is the embodiment of a true “student-athlete”, excelling both in the classroom and on the football field during his time here at Penn State and beyond. John Urschel is excited to return home to Penn State this November, and Penn State Homecoming is thrilled to welcome Mr. Urschel as the Penn State Homecoming 2017 Grand Marshal.