Alabama Native Kicks Team to the Super Bowl
Twenty-two year old Cincinnati Bengals kicker, Evan McPherson, is already making sure no football fan forgets his name in his first NFL season.
Hailing from Fort Payne, Alabama, McPherson played as a kicker and punter for Fort Payne High School. While there, his longest field goal was 60 yards, which is one yard short of the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) record, and he made First Team All-State in 2017.
Going to the University of Florida as the No. 1 kicker in the class of 2018, McPherson went 51-60 on field goals and had one of the most accurate careers in Gators' history, ranking third in career percentage with 85%. The scholarship kicker declared for the 2021 NFL draft after his junior year, and was drafted in the fifth round by Cincinnati. He was the only kicker drafted in 2021.
McPherson went 28-33 on field goals in the regular season of his first year in the NFL, including game winners against Minnesota in his first NFL game and against Kansas City in week 17 to crown the Bengals AFC North Champions.
In the postseason so far, the rookie kicker has broken a few kicking records already, including making the most field goals without a miss by any kicker in a single postseason by going 12-12, the most postseason field goals made in franchise history, and the most postseason field goals by a rookie kicker in NFL history.
Of the 12 made field goals, two of them were back-to-back game winners: one at Tennessee to send the Bengals to the AFC Championship, and one against the two-time defending AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs to send the Bengals to their first Super Bowl since 1989.
McPherson has a couple nicknames that Bengal fans and teammates call him. One of them is "Money Mac", which he requested to be called in an interview after a November win against the Raiders, where he had three field goals of over 50 yards. The second nickname is "Shooter McPherson", which was created by Bengals long snapper Clark Harris after the team's win against the Chiefs that crowned them AFC North Champions.
Even though he has already etched his name in NFL postseason history, there is another playoff record McPherson would still like to break: Adam Vinatieri's single postseason record of 14 made field goals.
"We just need three more in the Super Bowl to break the record [and] two more to tie," McPherson said. "That’s definitely something we’re going to shoot for. We’ll see how it goes, I’d like to score a lot of touchdowns in the Super Bowl."
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