High school kicking has a steep learning curve. The days of going for two after every touchdown by giving the ball to a kid who went through puberty at nine are over.
Kicking in a live game is terrifying. I attempted an extra point in middle school once, and I’m pretty sure the back of my center’s head is still throbbing. So, when there’s a high school kicker who can consistently put it through the uprights, you have something special.
Pair consistency with a big leg, and you have Fort Payne High School kicker Alex McPherson. McPherson, who’s committed to Auburn, booted a field goal that rivals NFL distance.
Alex McPherson’s 61-Yard Field Goal
First off, I can’t imagine a high school coach confidently sending out his kicker to attempt anything beyond 45 yards. I didn’t know they made high school kickers with legs capable of that distance until I heard of McPherson. McPherson doesn’t just make kicks from 45-yards and out. He obliterates them.
The Wildcat kicker remained calm when his number was called to attempt a 61-yarder against North Jackson. He proved he could make it in practice. Why not try it in a game?
McPherson lined up from the midfield logo, assessed the distance, and cleanly struck the ball into the Alabama night. It was good from the moment it left his foot.
McPherson’s boot not only set a new Alabama state record but also beat the previous 60-yard mark set by his brother, former Florida kicker, and current Cincinnati Bengal Evan McPherson. The younger McPherson playfully trash-talked his older brother while giving credit to his center and holder.
It was the highlight of Fort Payne’s 32-7 win.
This wasn’t even McPherson’s longest try of the season, either. He tried a 70-yard field goal attempt, yes 70 freaking yards, three weeks earlier. He was just short.
Auburn football fans have to be ecstatic for Alex McPherson to join the Tigers next season. The Fort Payne product is a three-star recruit and the No. 1 placekicker in the 247Sports Composite rankings. He chose Auburn over Florida, Georgia, Texas A&M, Tennessee, and LSU.
Seeing as the Auburn commit is only a high school senior, 70 yarders might be a real possibility once he enters Bryan Harsin’s weight program. Look out, Justin Tucker.