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Ravens guard John Urschel beginning work on Ph.D. at MIT this offseason

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
Plenty of Ravens go back to school to work on their degrees in the offseason. But a Ph.D? Only John Urschel.

In his two seasons with the Ravens, John Urschel has started at three positions — left guard, center, and right guard. Now, he’s back in school trying to earn a third degree.

Urschel tweeted this afternoon that he’s a beginning his Ph.D. at the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology this offseason, with a focus on spectral graph theory, numerical linear algebra, and machine learning.

As a collegiate standout at Penn State, Urschel earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in math there, and was working on a second master’s in math education when he was a fifth-year senior. That meant teaching classes on top of his football workload.

But the balance was never an issue for Urschel, one he said in his first minicamp with the Ravens was one he enjoyed.

Since then, the balance has shifted a bit. During the season, he’s all football, though he did try to test how bad a preseason concussion was by doing math.

In the offseason, however, he has embraced his role as an ambassador for math and math education.

Urschel is undoubtedly not the only Ravens player who is heading back to school this year. So is fellow 2014 draftee Crockett Gillmore. But as always, Urschel’s advanced math exploits are deserving of some extra recognition.

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