Former Cal Poly fullback Joe Protheroe has been invited to this weekend’s rookie minicamp of the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara.
Protheroe has been invited as an undrafted free agent in hopes of making the 90-man training camp roster. The NFL Draft was held last weekend in Nashville, Tenn.
The NFL allows teams to hold post-draft rookie minicamps on one of two weekends – May 3-6 or May 10-13 – which is open for draftees, undrafted free agents and rookie invites. Teams are restricted to 90 players when training camp begins in July, with the cut-down to 53 players occurring on Aug. 31.
Two years ago, rush linebacker Josh Letuligasenoa was invited to the Green Bay Packers’ rookie minicamp and signed a free agent contract with the Packers a few days later. He was cut after the final preseason game, making eight tackles (four solo) in four exhibition contests, then signed a two-year contract with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in April 2018. He was released and is now an assistant coach with the outside linebackers at his alma mater.
At Cal Poly’s Pro Day last month, Protheroe recorded a 40-yard dash time of 4.75 seconds, benched 22 reps of 225 pounds, leaped nine feet in the broad jump and jumped 30.5 inches in the vertical. Scouts from the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Chargers and Jacksonville Jaguars were on hand.
The 49ers’ local pro day, which featured prospects from the surrounding area, took place on April 17 in Santa Clara. Protheroe, kicker Alex Vega, and defensive back Jerek Rosales were among the 63 attendees.
Protheroe became the most decorated Mustang football player with seven All-America honors during the 2018 season. The Clayton Valley Charter High School graduate was honored by Associated Press, STATS Inc., Walter Camp Foundation, HERO Sports, Phil Steele, Athlon Sports, 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.
Protheroe smashed Cal Poly’s single-season and career rushing marks last 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 the 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.
The team’s most valuable player, Protheroe 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.
–Provided by Cal Poly