Penn State's Urschel nominated for scholar-athlete award

Penn State guard John Urschel has been named a candidate for the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award presented to a college athlete who combines outstanding football performance and academic ability with strong leadership and citizenship.

The 6-foot-3, 301-pound senior owns a 4.0 grade-point average and holds both a bachelor and masters degree in mathematics. He is working on a second masters degree in math education, and is teaching a course on “Integral Vector Calculus” this semester.

Urschel, an All-Big Ten selection last season, is expected to start his 17th consecutive game for the Nittany Lions on Saturday. He is on the watch lists for the 2013 Outland Trophy and the Rotary Lombardi Award, and is one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award.

Later this year, the National Football Foundation awards committee will select up to 16 scholar-athletes from every level of college football, with each winning an $18,000 fellowship.

From that group, the NFF will designate one as Scholar-Athlete of the Year, awarding him with the William V. Campbell Trophy and an additional $7,000 in scholarship money. The award winners will be honored Dec. 10 in New York.

Sixteen Penn State football players have been honored with an NFF Scholar-Athlete Award, the last being offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski in 2010.

--Joe Juliano