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Santa Urschel Gives Fan Special Christmas Gift

Former Penn State football offensive lineman and current MIT Ph.D. candidate John Urschel was in the giving mood this Christmas.

The 2013 Walter Campbell Trophy winner, an award otherwise known as the “Academic Heisman,” received an email from the dad of a Penn State football fan and West Chester University student, Xavier Briel. Briel’s dad emailed Urschel that his son was both a math major and Penn State football fan and Urschel decided to play Santa Claus this Christmas. The First Team Academic All-American, who earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Penn State, gifted Briel the first undergraduate math textbook that he used at Penn State.

Within the book, Urschel even wrote a message of encouragement for Briel. Urschel wrote, “I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!”

Briel took to Twitter to thank Urschel for his random act of kindness. He said that he would never forget Urschel’s gift.

And Urschel even took the time to respond to Briel, wishing him a merry Christmas.

Urschel retired from the NFL just before the current 2017-2018 season, ending his three-year career with the Baltimore Ravens. In what was somewhat of a surprise move, Urschel’s retirement announcement came just a couple days after a study was released linking football careers to more severe cases of CTE. Even as an NFL player for the Ravens, Urschel maintained his status as a full-time Ph.D. candidate at MIT, and he continues that pursuit of a doctoral degree.

About the Author

Navin Zachariah

Navin is just your average Dallas Cowboys fan from "right outside of Philly." A biology major, Navin hopes to one day cure the Cowboys of Jason Garrett. He is one of the select few who actually like The Chainsmokers. And if you see someone who looks exactly like him around campus, it could actually be his identical twin brother. Navin always trusts the process. Feel free to contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @nzach3.

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10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

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