Alumnus John Urschel: From NFL Trenches To MIT Research Labs

Retired Ravens lineman John Urschel has been out of football since his sudden retirement before the 2017 season.

“I’m really happy with where I am in life right now,” Urschel recently told the Boston Globe.  “People ask me what am I doing with all my extra time. And it’s like, what extra time?”

Urschel, a Penn State grad, was accepted into the PhD program for applied mathematics at the private Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2016.  He is on track to graduate early in 2020 after just four and one-half years in the program. Usually, it takes five to six years to achieve a math PhD at MIT.

In addition, his new book “Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football” was released this week. In it, he describes his love of math as a youngster and recalls his football days at Penn State and his three years in the NFL. He says teaching—not football- is in his future and he will be applying to universities for a position both here and abroad as soon as he receives his doctorate.

“It’s not a given that I will be a professor stateside,” he says. “I would be open to being a professor in the UK or in Switzerland. I love teaching and interacting with young people…teaching them how to be better at math and how to be better at thinking.”

We at NFL Alumni salute the 27-year old John Urschel who reinforces our belief that a large majority of NFL players succeed in their second careers whether it’s in sales, coaching, law or…teaching math in Switzerland. (Click here for more on John Urschel from the Boston Globe article.)

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