John Urschel Named Best Person in Sports


on October 23, 2013 12:50 PM

 Penn State offensive guard and math wiz John  Urschel has another accolade to add to his many accomplishments: On  Monday, Fox Sports named him Best Person in Sports for “excelling in the classroom and on the field.”

Last year Urschel was selected as  a first team All-Big Ten guard and  was also named a Capital One/CoSIFA Academic All-American in 2012. He  finished his undergraduate degree in mathematics in just three years  while maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA. He is now working on  earning his master’s degree and has plans to pursue a PhD after his  football career.

Urschel’s research has been published in the “Celestial Mechanics and  Dynamic Astronomy” journal, and he currently has several more articles  in the works. When he is not on the field he can be found teaching mathematics in classes such as Math 041. He can undoubtedly be considered one of the best student athletes in all of college sports.

While Urschel’s academic accomplishments are nothing to be scoffed  at, his success on the field is equally impressive. He has quickly  excelled as an elite athlete and NFL prospect after making the  decision to play football in ninth-grade. Last season he earned  first-team All-Big Ten honors after starting every game at right guard  and helped Zach Zwinak rush for over 1,000 yards. This year, he’s  continued to be a leader on the team while playing a key role in the  offensive line.

O’Brien Stays at Penn State!


By David Jones, Harrisburg Patriot News

Penn State’s long holiday nightmare is over. Bill O’Brien is staying at Penn State.

In an exclusive conversation, the second-year head coach confirmed that he was contacted by and entertained overtures from multiple NFL clubs through his agent Joe Linta. But he has decided to remain at PSU for at least the 2013 season.

 “I’m not a one-and-done guy,” said O’Brien. “I made a commitment to these players at Penn State and that’s what I am going to do.

“I’m a man of my word. I am what I am. Maybe I get fired in six years. But I’m not gonna cut and run after one year, that’s for sure.”

In addition to a clear testing of the pro head coaching waters, this was a strategic mission of sorts by O’Brien. By having Linta throw his name open to NFL openings and having the agent field offers, he was able to gain additional leverage that allowed him a chance to accomplish structural and personnel changes in the Penn State athletic department that may be forthcoming. O’Brien declined to be specific about those changes when asked but he did not deny those aims.

O’Brien acknowledged that PSU donor Terry Pegula, financier of the new Penn State hockey arena, has been a major ally in his efforts. Pegula was the first person who contacted O’Brien in late 2011 when he was eventually interviewed for the job.

Though O’Brien was not specific about it, high-level PSU sources have told me that a $1.3 million donation is to be added to O’Brien’s salary in the coming year that will bump his total compensation to $3.6 million and place him behind only Ohio State’s Urban Meyer ($4.3M) and Iowa‘s Kirk Ferentz ($3.8M) as the third-highest-paid coach in the Big Ten.