Protheroe (First), Fisher (Third) Earn STATS FCS All-America Honors

Protheroe (First), Fisher (Third) Earn STATS FCS All-America Honors

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Junior fullback Joe Protheroe, Cal Poly's 20th 1,000-yard rusher who surpassed the 100-yard mark eight times this season, has earned first-team All-America honors from STATS FCS.

Senior offensive lineman Matt Fisher landed on the third team.

A two-time first-team All-Big Sky Conference selection, Protheroe finished first in the Big Sky in rushing with 1,334 yards and 13 touchdowns in 11 games. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry and 121.3 yards a contest.

Protheroe (6-0, 225, Concord, Calif./Clayton Valley Charter High School) has surpassed the 100-yard mark in a game 13 times in his Mustang career. He also caught seven passes for 139 yards and two more scores.

A third-team STATS FCS All-American as a sophomore a year ago, Protheroe's career high for a single game is 217 yards on 31 carries and two touchdowns in Cal Poly's 38-31 win at South Dakota State in September. He also rushed for 168 yards at Sacramento State in late October.

Protheroe is No. 8 in career rushing yards at Cal Poly with 2,297 yards while his 1,334 yards this season is No. 5 all-time. He also has nine career receptions. His longest run is 76 yards for a touchdown at South Dakota State and Protheroe's longest reception is 55 yards, also for a touchdown, against Montana in September.

Fisher started all 23 games over the last two years at left tackle for the Mustangs, earned first-team All-Big Sky honors this fall and was nominated for the 2016 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

Fisher (6-5, 280, Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley High School) was part of an offensive line that helped Cal Poly to a No. 1 national ranking in team rushing during the regular season for the fourth straight year. The front five also allowed just seven sacks and led the Mustangs to national rankings of No. 3 in third-down conversions, 14th in scoring offense, seventh in total first downs, No. 9 in red zone offense and seventh in time of possession.

Cal Poly finished the year with a 7-5 record, its 12th winning season in the last 16 years, and shared fourth place with Southern Utah in the Big Sky standings at 5-3. The Mustangs earned their fourth NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoff berth in 12 years.

Other players from Big Sky schools on the STATS FCS All-American first team are senior wide receiver Cooper Kupp of Eastern Washington and junior defensive back Cole Reyes of North Dakota. Eastern Washington quarterback Gage Gubrud will be a first- or second-team All-American depending on the final Walter Payton Award standings, which will be announced Jan. 6.

Second-team selections include senior offensive lineman J.P. Flynn of Montana State, senior punter Tate Lewis of Weber State and sophomore kick return specialist John Santiago of North Dakota.

Landing on the third team were junior tight end Andrew Vollert of Weber State, senior defensive lineman Siupeli Anau of Northern Arizona and senior defensive lineman Samson Ebukam of Eastern Washington.

San Diego running back Jonah Hodges earned a spot on the third team as an all-purpose player.