NEW YORK — At 6-foot-3 and 302 lbs., Baltimore Ravens’ offensive lineman John Urschel fits the bill of a typical NFL player.
However, unlike other players when he’s not on the field, he is still tackling. But instead of people, it's numbers.
Earning a Master’s degree in Mathematics at Penn State, Urschel is a widely published mathematician and a clear standout in the league.
He even returned to Penn State to teach a class in calculus.
“Having quantitative skills matter, no matter what field you go into,” he told PIX11 News. “These are skills that will serve you well for the rest of your life.”
Urschel is proving just that, even in the rough and tough NFL.
“For me its really just about quick decision-making,” he explained. “To be able to come to the line as soon as the ball snaps and to see what’s in front of me and to make very fast decisions and to make accurate decisions.”
The Baltimore Raven is now partnering with New York-based start-up Persado to work on educational and marketing initiatives that break down mathematical concepts in every day language.
Because after all as Urschel explained - math is everywhere.
“This idea of applying math to places where they don’t think math would be there just like how they don’t think that me being a mathematician really correlates with me being a professional football player [made me] initially drawn to this.”
Despite the safety concerns looming over the NFL in regards to concussions, Urschel maintains that he loves the game too much to throw in the towel.
“You’re only young once and I’ve been blessed that I’ve had no concussions in my career,” he said.