Wednesday was a great day to be a Crusader football player majoring in mechanical engineering.
The Pioneer Football League announced its Academic All-PFL teams and of the five Valpo recipients, four are enrolled in the specialized program.
Junior Alex Green (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville Community) and his 3.53 grade-point average coupled with a 108-tackle season - his second consecutive season eclipsing triple digits in that category - warranted First Team honors yet again. Green earned First Team honors in 2013, too.
Valparaiso also boasts four Second Team selections.
Senior Stuart Barkley (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Northwest) garnered such accolades despite possessing a higher GPA than any offensive lineman aside from fellow lineman Brian Lang (Chicago, Ill./Marist). Barkley, who represented the foundation of Valpo's most stringent offensive line in decades, carried a 3.73 grade-point average as a mechanical engineering major.
Lang, a redshirt freshman, also received Second Team honors with a 3.89 GPA in accounting. The 6-foot-4-inch, 255-pound rookie helped seal holes for Valpo's multi-faceted running game as well as quarterback Ben Lehman (Elgin, Ill./Saint Edward Central Catholic). The Brown and Gold's offensive line surrendered 0.42 sacks per game, fewest in the nation.
Jake Hutson (Blanchard, Mich./Montabella) was awarded a Second Team nomination. The redshirt junior collected 230 yards on 65 carries in 2014. He rushed for a touchdown in addition to hauling in nine passes for 118 yards (fifth-most on the team). Hutson is a double major in mechanical engineering and electrical engineering with a 3.62 grade-point average.
Junior John Guilford (Spencer, Ohio/Black River) enjoyed a banner year at defensive end en route to Second Team accolades. Guilford wrapped up a productive 2014 with 13 tackles for a loss, including 5.5 sacks. He was an All-PFL Honorable Mention candidate last season. Guilford owns a 3.31 GPA as a mechanical engineering major.