Cal Poly

Cal Poly fullback Joe Protheroe garners preseason All-American honors

Cal Poly junior-to-be Joe Protheroe received some more preseason recognition Monday morning.

The 6-foot, 225-pound fullback was selected as a preseason second-team All-American by STATS FCS, one of seven players from the Big Sky Conference honored.

Protheroe also was named to the all-Big Sky preseason team two weeks ago, and is expected to be among the leaders of the Mustangs’ deep and talented backfield in 2016.

As a sophomore last fall, Protheroe rushed for 779 yards and scored six touchdowns in his first year as the full-time starter. He was awarded first-team all-conference accolades and tallied four 100-yard performances before injuries slowed his production late in the year.

Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp led the Big Sky contingent as a preseason first-team All-American. North Dakota sophomore running back John Santiago also landed on the first team as an all-purpose special teams player.

Northern Arizona’s Case Cookus (quarterback) and Emmanuel Butler (wide receiver) joined Protheroe on the second team offense. Montana defensive lineman Caleb Kidder, Southern Utah linebacker Mike Needham and Northern Colorado punt returner Ellis Onic II were second-team honorees.

Portland State defensive back Xavier Coleman received third-team preseason All-American accolades.

Cal Poly is scheduled to begin fall practice at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.