The Baltimore Ravens may have kicked off the year with a bitter finale after Sunday’s loss to the Bengals, but the 2017 offseason is off to a brilliant start for their starting left guard and noted math wiz John Urschel.
Forbes today announced the picks for its annual “30 Under 30” list, which highlights 30 extraordinary individuals ages 29 and under in 20 separate industries. Among the genomics researchers, prodigious entrepreneurs, professors and others in the Science category is none other than the 25-year-old Urschel, labeled not as a Baltimore Ravens lineman, but rather as a Ph.D candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Urschel doesn’t just stand out as the only pro athlete in a grouping of scientists; he’s also one of just three individuals under age 26. Here’s Forbes’ description for the genius lineman:
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.
Urschel has done an impressive job balancing his separate lives on the field and in the classroom at MIT, where’s he’s earning his doctoral degree in applied mathematics. ESPN noted early last year that he aced his first four classes in the program, all while continuing to work out with MIT’s football team in preparation for the 2016 NFL season. He also engaged others off the field in 2016, writing the “Wednesday Morning Math Challenge” for the athlete-produced Players’ Tribune and taking on U.S. chess champion Fabiano Caruana in an accelerated-time chess match in the spring.
It hurts to know Urschel and his teammates won’t be continuing on in the NFL postseason this year. However, it’s great to see the smartest man on the team get some much-deserved glory for his mathematical prowess.