Cal Poly’s Joe Protheroe is now most decorated Mustang football player with seven All-America honors

Posted at 4:06 PM, Jan 09, 2019

Make it seven for eight.

Cal Poly senior fullback Joe Protheroe has become the most decorated Mustang football player with seven All-America honors during the 2018 season.

On Wednesday, Protheroe landed on Athlon Sports’ 2018 Postseason Football Championship Subdivision All-America Team.

The Clayton Valley Charter High School graduate was honored earlier by Associated Press, STATS Inc., Walter Camp Foundation, HERO Sports, Phil Steele and the FCS Athletics Directors Association.

Protheroe also was a two-time All-American following the 2016 season when he rushed for 1,334 yards and 13 touchdowns. STATS Inc. also named Protheroe a third-team All-American in 2015.

And don’t forget the three All-Big Sky Conference first-team accolades Protheroe garnered on the way to 4,271 career rushing yards and 35 career touchdowns.

In addition to Protheroe, other players from Big Sky schools on the Athlon Sports All-America Team are UC Davis wide receiver Keelan Doss, Weber State offensive lineman Iosua Opeta, Montana linebacker Dante Olson and Eastern Washington kicker Roldan Alcobendas.

Protheroe smashed Cal Poly’s single-season and career rushing marks this fall, amassing 1,810 yards this season to break James Noble’s record of 1,578 yards and raise his career total to 4,271 yards, eclipsing Craig Young’s mark of 4,205 yards set from 1996-99.

Protheroe, who finished fourth in balloting for the 2018 Walter Payton Award, surpassed the 200-yard mark in rushing three consecutive times late in the season, four for the year and five times in his Mustang career. They are among 23 career 100-yard performances, including the final nine games of the 2018 season. All of those accomplishments are school records.

He tallied 128 or more yards in his last nine games and 215 or more in three of his last four contests, including a high of 260. He was the only player in the FCS to rank in the top 16 in single-game highs twice this season – No. 7 with his 260 yards against Idaho State and No. 16 with 228 yards versus Brown – and he scored 13 touchdowns on the season overall.

Protheroe was named the team’s most valuable player at an awards banquet held in early December at Madonna Inn after scoring 35 career touchdowns, three shy of the mark.

Protheroe, whose 861 career carries is another record, finished No. 5 in the Big Sky record book for a single season and No. 8 in career rushing in the conference.

The three-time first-team All-Big Sky performer finished No. 1 in the Big Sky and Football Championship Subdivision with his 1,810 yards and is No. 2 among active rushers in the FCS with his 4,271 career yards. Protheroe averaged 35.5 carries and 183.1 yards over eight conference games and is one of six Mustangs with a pair of 1,000-yard seasons.

-Provided by Cal Poly