NFL lineman John Urschel retires to focus on math

When I interviewed Baltimore Ravens lineman John Urschel, I was surprised by one of his answers.

I asked him why he plays football when he could protect his brain in pursuit of his math career. He’s currently working on his Ph.D. in math at MIT.

A few highlights from his response.

I got my pension last year, which is huge. Trust me, I celebrated on the inside.

This is the league allowed me to buy my mother a house.

I expected an answer about how he loved the physical contact. Instead, he alluded to the financial rewards of the job.

Urschel retired from football before the start of the 2017 season. He’ll work on his math career now.

In my interview, I try to show how Urschel isn’t your ordinary MIT graduate student. He could have submitted one of his undergraduate papers as a Ph.D. thesis. He continues to both publish and work on interesting new topics.

To listen to my interview with John Usrchel, click on the right pointing triangle.

You can listen to all episodes of The Football Analytics Show on iTunes by clicking here.

Podcast: John Urschel, NFL lineman, on football analytics and math research

On this episode of the Football Analytics Show, John Urschel, lineman for the Baltimore Ravens and Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at MIT, joins me for a wide ranging conversation. Topics include:

  • The NFL’s progress in using video tracking data
  • The football analytics problem John is working on
  • The acoustic operator in those Bose commercials with J.J. Watt
  • The breadth of math research in which John is engaged
  • The hidden factor in his success as an NFL lineman

John is an amazing human being, and I hope you enjoy this episode.

You also might be interested in an interview I did with John 3 years ago before he got drafted by the NFL.

To listen on iTunes, click here.

To listen here, click on the triangle.