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

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.

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 honour 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.

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 travelling for NFL road games.

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

“If I’m thinking about maths 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 maths, it’s all-encompassing and I’m 100% in it, and there’s really nothing else to think about when I’m doing maths,” 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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