All-American

Olson, Protheroe, Opeta earn AP & Walter Camp All-America; others from Big Sky honored

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A total of nine players from the Big Sky Conference landed on the Associated Press FCS All-American team last week, including three players on the first team. Montana junior linebacker Dante Olson and Cal Poly fullback Joe Protheroe each earned Walter Camp All-American.

Eastern Washington senior kicker Roldan Alcobendas joined Olson and Protheroe on the AP’s All-America first team. Weber State senior offensive tackle Iosua Opeta earned second-team honors from the AP while also landing on the Walter Camp team. Southern Utah junior center Zach Larsen earned Walter Camp All-American honors.

EWU senior center Spencer Blackburn and Eastern senior defensive tackle Jay-Tee Tiuli landed on the AP’s second team offense, as did UC Davis wide receiver Keelan Doss. Weber State senior defensive tackle Filipe Sitake and Cal Poly defensive back Dominic Frasch earned third-team honors from the Associated Press.

Montana junior linebacker Dante Olson/ by Jason Bacaj

Protheroe, who finished fourth in the Walter Payton Award voting, led the FCS and FBS in rushing yards with 1,810 in his senior campaign. Alcobendas, the Fred Mitchell Place-Kicker Award honoree, made 13 of 13 field goals and 54 of 55 PATs during the regular season. Olson, a Buck Buchanan Top 3 finalist, led the nation for the majority of the season in tackles per game and finished with 151 tackles for a 13.7 per game average.

Opeta, an All-American as a junior, started every game for Weber State this season. The 6-foot-4, 305-pounder is widely considered one of the top NFL prospects in the Big Sky Conference. He and Larsen were both first-team All-Big Sky selections. Larsen was a 2017 All-American as well.

Blackburn spearheaded an Eastern offensive line that has helped pave the way to 266.8 rushing yards, 545 total yards and 45.3 points per game. Tiuli anchored a defense that has given up no more than 26 points to an FCS opponent this season.

Doss, the 2017 Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year, chose to forego the NFL Draft to return for his senior year. He led the FCS in catches with 109 for 1,191 yards and nine touchdowns.

Associated Press FCS All-American team

1st TEAM

RB Joe Protheroe, Cal Poly

K Roldan Alcobendas, Eastern Washington

LB Dante Olson, Montana

2nd TEAM

OL Iosua Opeta, Weber State

OL Spencer Blackburn, Eastern Washington

WR Keelan Doss, UC Davis

DL Jay-Tee Tiuli, Eastern Washington

3rd Team

DL Filipe Sitake, Weber State

DB – Dominic Frasch, Cal Poly

Walter Camp FCS All-American team

LB Dante Olson, Montana

OL Iosua Opeta, Weber State

RB Joe Protheroe, Cal Poly

OL Zach Larsen, Southern Utah

 

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate (’09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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