John Cameron Urschel (born June 24, 1991) is a Canadian mathematician, chess player and retired professional American football guard and center. He played college football at Penn State and was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Urschel played his entire NFL career with Baltimore before announcing his retirement on July 27, 2017, at 26 years old.

Urschel has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from Penn State and is pursuing a Ph.D. in mathematics from MIT. He has published peer-reviewed articles in mathematics. He is also an Advanced Stats Columnist for The Players’ Tribune.

On July 27, 2017, Urschel announced his retirement from the NFL after three seasons. The Baltimore Sun reported that the JAMA study on the prevalence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in deceased players was a factor in Urschel’s decision.

Urschel began a Ph.D. in mathematics at MIT in 2016, focusing on spectral graph theory, numerical linear algebra, and machine learning. On January 4, 2017, Urschel was named to Forbes’ “30 under 30” list of outstanding young scientists. His Forbes biography states “Urschel has published six peer-reviewed mathematics papers to date and has three more ready for review. That’s a respectable publication history for someone who only started pursuing their PhD at MIT this year. He’s won academic awards for his math prowess. All this while playing guard for the Baltimore Ravens.


Arguably the most anticipated player of the 2014 NFL Draft, college football’s youngest Heisman Trophy Winner will look to make a major impact in his new home with the Cleveland Browns! Johnny Manziel!

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Michael Sam becomes 1st openly gay player drafted in NFL

NBC Sports: The St. Louis Rams drafted Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam on Saturday, making him the first openly gay player to be drafted in NFL history.

Sam, who was named an All-American defensive lineman last season, came out as gay after ending his college career. The Rams selected him late in the seventh round with the 249th overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

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Photo: Michael Sam, who came out as gay after his final season with Missouri, was drafted by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday. (Brian Spurlock / USA Today Sports via Reuters)