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John Urschel Wins The ‘Academic Heisman’

Hey, look, John Urschel received another honor for being John Urschel.

Penn State football’s star offensive lineman/resident genius won Penn State’s first William V. Campbell Trophy, which is commonly nicknamed college football’s “Academic Heisman.”

The award is given out annually by the National Football Foundation, and “recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the country for his academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership.”

To qualify for the award, the player needs to meet several criteria:

  • A senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility.
  • Have a grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Have outstanding football ability as a first team player.
  • Have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.

Of course, Urschel’s academic, athletic, and philanthropic efforts have been well documented. He’s one of the Big Ten’s premier offensive lineman, had a 4.0 GPA, is working on his second degree, taught a class this semester, and was a chapter member of Uplifting Athletes.

Past winners of the award include Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. Urschel is the first Penn Stater to win the award in its 24 year history. Because he won the award, Urschel will take home $25,000 postgraduate scholarship and a sick looking trophy.

Below is the video of Urschel’s acceptance speech. Like everything he does, it was humble, eloquent, and oozing with Penn State pride (skip forward to 1:09 to avoid the screaming woman near the camera).

“I would like to thank Penn State for wasting their second to last scholarship for the class of 2009 on an unheralded, 2-star, 260 pound offensive linemen from Buffalo, New York,” Urschel said. “I am so grateful for that scholarship — grateful for the opportunity to play in front of 108,000 of the best fans in college football.”

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