Grand Marshal

2017 Grand Marshal: John Urschel



Introducing Homecoming 2017’s Grand Marshal, John Urschel! John Urschel, a former member of the Penn State Football team and retired Baltimore Raven, is currently pursuing his his Ph.D. in Mathematics at MIT.

Urschel completed his B.S. in Mathematics with a minor in Statistics at Penn State University in 2012, graduating with a 4.0 GPA. He then went on to obtain his M.A. in Mathematics from Penn State in 2013. Urschel also taught several mathematics courses at the University including Trigonometry, Analytic Geometry, and Integral Vector Calculus.

The true embodiment of a student-athlete, Urschel not only excelled in the classroom but also on the field as a member of the Offensive Line for the Nittany Lions. During his career at Penn State, he was selected a first-team All-Big Ten Guard and first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2012. In 2013, he earned third-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten accolades for the second consecutive season as a senior, while also becoming the first Penn State player to win the William V. Campbell Trophy an award given to the nation’s premier college football scholar-athlete. In 2014, Urschel was named the recipient of the 84th James E. Sullivan Award presented to America’s top amateur athlete.

Following the completion of his Master’s, Urschel was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft where he played three seasons as a member of the Offensive Line. During the 2016 offseason, he enrolled in a Ph.D. program at MIT to pursue his Doctorate in Applied Mathematics. Urschel announced his retirement from the NFL in July of 2017 to pursue his Ph.D. full time. In 2017, he was named to Forbes 30 under 30 list in science and has also published a number of peer-reviewed articles. His biggest hobby includes playing chess, as he enjoys the combination of quantitative reasoning and competition.

John Urschel is excited to return home to Penn State this November, and Penn State Homecoming is thrilled to welcome him as the Penn State Homecoming 2017 Grand Marshal.