kicker Evan McPherson came from Fort Payne

The football stadium at Fort Payne High School in Fort Payne, Alabama, sits right at the bottom of Lookout Mountain. It’s a town where the fan base travels to road games and the varsity players tour the local elementary schools before homecoming for pep rallies and autographs signings.

Before 2021, only one football player from Fort Payne had even been close to playing in the NFL. A few decades ago, a player whose name has been forgotten made it through the fourth preseason game, but the team cut him right before he would have made his NFL debut on Monday Night Football.

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That’s a story that’s been told for years by former Fort Payne head coach Paul Ellis to his players. So when Evan McPherson made it to the NFL, about 25 friends, coaches and family piled in vans to drive to Cincinnati.

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