Meet The Brilliant NFL Player Who’s Also a Ph.D. Candidate at MIT


How many times have you watched an NFL game and wondered if the coach can even do math at a third grade level? So often, it seems that these men who are paid millions to patrol NFL sidelines make game management mistakes that the average 8-year-old would avoid.

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh has absolutely no excuse for ever botching a game management situation involving math. That’s because he’s got a Ph. D. candidate from MIT at his disposal on the sidelines.

John Urschel, an offensive lineman for the Ravens, is pursuing a Ph. D. in applied mathematics from MIT. And he’s doing pretty well, it seems. Check out his report on his grades from last spring:

In an interview set to air on HBO’s Real Sports, Urschel explains the appeal of advanced math — which he’s so into that he’s got a blackboard in his bedroom for late-night problem solving.

“It’s me versus the unknown,” Urschel said. When asked about what it’s like when he conquers that unknown, he said, “Best feeling in the world.”

But Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco says that for all his brilliance, Urschel occasionally has trouble counting to three.

“Snap Count? Nah. He does not always get that right,” Flacco said, seemingly half-jokingly. “He’ll forget to snap it or he’ll snap it early…You’re supposed to snap on however many ‘Huts’ I say, and he’s not always right.”

Watch above, via HBO — which premieres its complete piece on Urschel tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

[featured image via screengrab]

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo