Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel will begin studying for his Ph.D in mathematics at MIT this offseason, according to a post on his Twitter page.
Studying at MIT is not the way most athletes spend their offseason. However, Urschel is far from the average guy. He is passionate about both football and mathematics, determined to excel at both and describing himself as a “professional mathlete”. Since joining the Ravens two seasons ago, Urschel has spoken regularly to students in the Baltimore area, encouraging young people not to neglect academics in the pursuit of athletic success.
Urschel has already earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in mathematics from Penn St. where he had a 4.0 grade point average. He’ll be the best football player at MIT, but knowing Urschel, he’ll also be one of the best students.
Urschel’s NFL career is also on the rise. He started seven games last season, filling starting at center when Jeremy Zuttah was injured. As a rookie in 2014, Urschel started five games at guard, and with starting offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele a free agent, Urschel could move into a starting role next season. Whatever is role, Urschel says he will be an improved player.
“Going into next, I feel very comfortable knowing that I’m a starting caliber center and guard,”Urschel said during a recent phone interview. “Whatever happens, I’m just going to go into camp, play my best football, and help the team win. If that’s in a backup role, I’m perfectly OK with that. Whatever I can do to help the Ravens win, but naturally, everyone wants to play.”
When Urschel puts his mind to something, he usually accomplishes it.