University of St. Thomas running back Jake Barkley, a sophomore from Plymouth, is among 24 players voted to the first team of 2000 Verizon College Division Academic All-America Football Team announced Tuesday. The honor team (formerly known as the GTE/Co-SIDA honor team) was selected by a national panel of sports information directors.

Barkley, who has a GPA of 3.88 in entrepreneurship, was the lone sophomore honored among 49 players on the first or second teams. He’s among an elite group of student athletes honored from more than 30,000 players on 450 eligible schools in NCAA Division II, Division III and NAIA .

Barkley was the MIAC rushing champion with 1,414 yards in nine games. He had eight consecutive 100-yard rushing games in leading the Tommies to a third-place tie at 6-3 in the final conference standings. He scored 10 touchdowns, and his season total of 1,476 rushing yards included four touchdown runs of 68 or more yards. In 19 career games, Barkley has 12 touchdowns, 1,841 rushing yards and 376 receiving yards.

It’s the ninth time since 1973 and fifth time in eight seasons that the Tommies have had an Academic All-American in football. It also marks the 10th time in the last 12 seasons that St. Thomas football has had either an All-American player or an Academic All-American.

Four other MIAC players were honored — Gustavus junior linebacker Brian Bergstrom also made first team; and second-team honorees were St. John’s senior quarterback Tom Linnemann; Gustavus senior offensive lineman Andy Kopperud; and Carleton senior defensive end Jeff Thurk.