Protheroe, Fisher Earn Second All-American Honors From Hero Sports

Protheroe, Fisher Earn Second All-American Honors From Hero Sports

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Junior fullback Joe Protheroe and senior offensive lineman Matt Fisher have earned their second All-American honors.

Protheroe, Cal Poly's 20th 1,000-yard rusher who surpassed the 100-yard mark eight times this season, was named to Hero Sports' Football Championship Subdivision All-American second team while Fisher landed on the third team.

Both were honored by STATS FCS last month — Protheroe on the first team and Fisher on the third unit.

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 and sophomore quarterback Gage Gubrud, both from Eastern Washington.

Second-team selections include junior defensive back Cole Reyes of North Dakota, senior wide receiver Shaq Hilll of Eastern Washington and return specialist John Santiago of North Dakota.

Landing on the third team were junior defensive back Deion Harris of North Dakota, senior defensive back Xavier Coleman of Portland State, senior defensive lineman Samson Ebukam of Eastern Washington, senior offensive lineman J.P. Flynn of Montana State, senior wide receiver Kendrick Bourne of Eastern Washington. and punter Tate Lewis of Southern Utah.

San Diego running back Jonah Hodges earned a spot on the third team as a running back while Torero junior defensive lineman Jonathan Petersen also landed on the third team.