FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WHNT) — In Fort Payne, McPherson has become a household name thanks to three brothers who all found a passion for kicking.
“It’s just a different sound when they kick the ball,” said Fort Payne Head Football Coach Chris Elmore. “It’s just a different sound it comes off their foot so fast and with so much speed, it kind of almost explodes off their foot. It’s the truth, it’s amazing to watch.”
The middle brother, Evan McPherson, has now become a name known nationwide because of his rookie season success for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Elmore, along with former Wildcats Coach Paul Ellis, have known the McPherson family for years. They’re not surprised by Evan’s success on the field this year.
“Their expectation is you’re supposed to make the kick, ya know, it’s not hard you’re supposed to kick it through the two posts and they don’t think it’s a big deal when they do,” Elmore continued. “They get frustrated when they don’t.”
It’s what he’s worked for his whole life.
“He was the kid out there during Thanksgiving when nobody’s around, or Christmas when nobody’s around when it’s cold and miserable and all those boys would go up there and kick on their own,” Ellis said.
Ellis doesn’t want anyone to mistake McPherson’s confidence for arrogance, he says it’s simple, McPherson has put in the work and is totally prepared for these moments on the big stage.
“Him being human, there’s got to be a little bit of nerves, but I think he’s just done it so much, he’s so well-prepared he believes in his ability and of course, we all do,” Ellis continued. “Just very calm, cool, and collected, and very deserving of all this success.”
So after all these years and all of those kicks, for his high school coach, there’s one word that stands out when it comes to describing Evan.
“Motivated,” Ellis stated. “And that goes with work ethic. We just never had to, ya know, I wonder what Evan’s doing, I mean he lifted, did all the weight room times, he was easy, and that’s what I’ve told his mom and dad. ‘Your kids were really easy, we never had to worry about them.’ They were never around us with any kind of egos, it was just, ‘let’s go out there and get better every day’.”
Now that McPherson’s kicked the Bengals to Super Bowl 56, he’ll look to use that motivation to help bring the Lombardi Trophy to Cincinnati for the very first time.