The awards keep racking up for former Penn State offensive guard John Urschel. His efforts on the field with the Nittany Lions earned him All-American honors. However, Urschel also excels in the classroom, twice being named an Academic All-American and winning the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy, considered to be the academic Heisman. Now Urschel can add the 84th AAU James E. Sullivan Award, given to the nations top amateur athlete, to his growing list.
Urschel was honored with the award during a ceremony at the AAU headquarters in Orlando, Florida. He started as one of 19 semifinalists for the award. After a public online vote, the field was narrowed to three finalists. Urschel was up against Cory Ann McGee, a track star from the University of Florida, and Kelsey Robinson, a volleyball player at the University of Nebraska.
Penn State last had a student-athlete up as a finalist for the award in 2010 when All-American volleyball player Megan Hodge was up for the honor.
The Sullivan Award began in 1930 and is awarded to athletes who show the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, character and the ideals of amateurism. Notable previous winners include: Peyton Manning, Charlie Ward, Tim Tebow, Shawn Johnson, Bruce Jenner and Michael Phelps.
Urschel, who is an excellent math student and has several research papers published, is currently pursuing a career in professional football. He participated in the NFL Combine in February and took part last week in Penn State’s Pro Day. He is expected to be in attendance at the annual Blue-White Game on Saturday, April 11.
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