John Urschel abruptly retired from the NFL right before training camp in 2017 to focus on his PhD and life in general.
Urschel spent four seasons as an offensive tackle at Penn State and three with the Baltimore Ravens. Urschel was accepted into the PhD program for applied mathematics at MIT in 2016. Urschel is on track to graduate early in the spring of 2020 and has published a memoir titled “Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football”.
Urschel said he has had offers from NFL teams to join their analytics departments, but that he has no interest.
“I’m very much staying away from the sports analytics,” he said. “I have lots of friends who work in the field, and nothing against them, but I think while there are interesting problems, the mathematics is much more interesting in other fields. For example, the mathematics in computer science is much more fascinating to me than the math in football.”
Urschel will be applying to universities across the globe this spring after he receives his doctorate.