NFL player just got four As in his first semester of an MIT math PhD program

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 1: Guard John Urschel #64 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on prior to a game against the San Diego Chargers at M&T Bank Stadium on November 1, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)Matt Hazlett/Getty ImagesJohn Urschel.

Continuing to show he is one of the more unusual — and impressive — players in the NFL, Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel announced via Twitter that he received a 4.0 GPA in his first semester of a Ph.D. in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“My first semester in school in nearly three years. Four PhD classes at MIT. Four A’s. The streak continues!!!” Urschel tweeted.

My first semester in school in nearly three years. Four PhD classes at MIT. Four A’s. The streak continues!!!

— John Urschel (@JohnCUrschel) May 24, 2016

Urschel is used to succeeding academically.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in three years at Penn State and spent his senior year working on a master’s degree in mathematics, while being paid by Penn State to teach Integral Vector Calculus Trigonometry.

He won the “Academic Heisman” in 2013, an honor given to college football’s top scholar-athlete.

Earlier this year, the 24-year-old, 305-pound lineman was accepted into the No. 1 ranked graduate school for mathematics, all while having a full-time job in the NFL.

Starting my PhD in math at MIT this offseason!!!

— John Urschel (@JohnCUrschel) January 26, 2016

Urschel has a well-documented history of being a stereotype-breaking football player.

In a recent interview with the American Mathematical Society, he said he read mathematics during his free time traveling for NFL road games.

He noted, however, that his ability to separate football from math was one of self-preservation.

“If I’m thinking about math on the football field, this is going to get me killed,” he told AMS.

“So that’s just survival instinct. And when I’m doing math, it’s all-encompassing and I’m 100% in it, and there’s really nothing else to think about when I’m doing math,” he said. “I love mathematics, I love the elegance, I love the challenge, and so that’s been natural for me.”

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