FORT PAYNE, Ala. — Evan McPherson is becoming a household name in the state of Ohio. On January 22, the 2021 fifth-round draft pick kicked the game-winning 52-yard field goal that sent the Cincinnati Bengals to the AFC Championship for the first time since 1988.
While the nation is just now getting acquainted with the star NFL rookie, residents of Fort Payne, Alabama have have known about Evan's talents for years. In fact, the entire McPherson family is known for their kicking abilities.
Evan's older brother, Logan, 26, was an all-state kicker at Fort Payne High School. After graduation, he kicked for Louisiana Tech. When Logan transitioned from soccer to football, Evan, 22, wanted to shift too.
"The moment he came home and showed some interest in kicking, Evan went out and put some poles on his soccer goal," said their mother, Amber. "PVC pipe. Two inch PVC pipe. And tied them to the goal so he could have a field goal. And I said 'are you going to be like your bother?' He was like 'no.'"
Evan's younger brother, Alex, 18, is graduating high school in 2022. Alex is the top-ranked kicker in the nation and will attend Auburn in the fall. This past season, Alex set a new Alabama high school state record for the longest field goal at 61 yards, breaking Evan's record of 60 yards.
"I was standing there talking to my wife after the game," said Fort Payne Wildcats Head Coach, Chris Elmore. "And most of the time after high school football games you see kids running around, throwing touchdown passes, running the ball, tackling, whatever it is. At Fort Payne, we had about ten kids down here try to kick extra points. They saw Alex make a state record and they were trying to figure out how they could kick."
When Alex was still in eighth grade, Head Coach Paul Ellis invited him on the team to hold for Evan.
"Logan, my oldest brother, he coached Evan," said Alex. "So he's kind of like Logan and Evan's coached me from as long as I can remember so I'm definitely a lot like Evan in my kicking mechanics."
"I always fall backwards to Logan," said Ellis. "Logan was the pioneer. He was the trailblazer for all these guys."
Logan and his wife, Madison, live in Greenville, South Carolina where they recently welcomed their first child, Brooks. Logan works in medical device sales.
Parents, and Fort Payne High School sweethearts, LaDon and Amber McPherson, will celebrate 30 years of marriage on March 16.