The Big Ten has announced its 2013 Medal of Honor recipients, and they include two football players.
Penn State offensive lineman John Urschel and former Purdue defensive end/linebacker Robert Maci were among the 24 recipients across 18 sports for the honor. The medal of honor is the conference's most prestigious award and goes to a student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who has “attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work.” The full list of winners can be found here. From the Big Ten release:
Urschel is a fifth-year senior who earned 2012 first-team All-Big Ten recognition by the coaches. A three-time academic All-Big Ten honoree, Urschel graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average in mathematics in May 2012, less than three years after enrolling at Penn State. He earned his master's degree in math in May 2013, maintaining his 4.0 GPA. The Williamsville, N.Y. product was also 2012 first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American. This past spring semester, Urschel taught a section of Math 041 -- Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry -- three days a week in addition to his own academic work, research and football responsibilities.
Maci is a four-time academic All-Big Ten selection who started all 13 games last season in a dual role of defensive end and linebacker. He finished with a career-high 37 tackles, including 6.5 for loss and a pair of sacks. Purdue named him its "Red" Mackey award winner for exemplifying the overall success of the university's intercollegiate athletics programs and the most improved player award on defense. He graduated from Purdue last December with a degree in industrial engineering. He recently signed a free-agent deal with the NFL's Detroit Lions.
Congrats to both players on this outstanding accomplishment.