The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I FBS football coaches, national football media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I football. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - classroom, community, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
A mathematics major, Urschel finished his undergraduate degree in three years with a 4.0 grade point average, earned his first master's degree in math in one year and is working on a second master's degree in math education. He has taught math classes to Penn State students while playing football. In the community, Urschel has participated in the Penn State Uplifting Athletes Lift for Life, an event that has raised nearly $500,000 the last four years for the Kidney Cancer Association, He has also volunteered at the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) Make-A-Wish event, the THON pep rally, the Special Olympics Pennsylvania State Summer Games and Relay for Life. Named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press in 2013, Urschel is also a two-time first-team All-Big Ten honoree.
Urschel is the second Big Ten student-athlete to win the honor since it was first presented in 2008, joining former Ohio State standout James Laurinaitis, who won the award in its inaugural year.
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