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Evan McPherson next up at Florida
One of the most important signees in Florida’s 2018 class is kicker Evan McPherson.
The Gators needed to land an elite player at the position following the early exit of Eddy Pineiro, the most accurate kicker in program history.
They found their man in McPherson, who is ranked the nation’s No. 1 kicker in the 247Sports composite and signed early with Florida on Dec. 20. He flipped from Mississippi State a few weeks after head coach Dan Mullen left the Bulldogs for the Gators.
McPherson knows he has big shoes to fill in Gainesville, but the Under Armour All-American is looking forward to replacing Pineiro.
“I’m excited about it,” McPherson told SEC Country. “I think I can bring in what Eddy had. Just a guy that put points on the board and helps the team out. It’s going to be hard to match Eddy. He missed only one field goal last year. But I feel like I can be a strong part of the team and I’m ready for it.”
McPherson is from Fort Payne, Ala., and committed to Mississippi State last spring. Mullen played a huge role in that decision, so his departure caused a shakeup in his recruiting process.
“I was really confused about it. I didn’t know what I was going to do,” McPherson said. “I’ve known Coach Mullen for a while and that relationship was really big in my recruitment. He called after he got his new job and said he needed me down there at Florida.”
McPherson continued communicating with Mullen in the days that followed and then conducted an in-home visit on Dec. 1. That’s when the Gators became a realistic option.
— Evan McPherson (@McPherson_Evan) December 2, 2017
“When he came for the visit, that really opened my eyes to Florida and made me want to go,” McPherson said. “The whole time we were with him, he was just excited about Florida and what they were going to become. And he was treating us like family and showed that he really cared about me.”
McPherson was ready to make to the switch after that meeting, but waited until his official visit to say yes for sure. His trip to Florida on Dec. 8 confirmed what he already knew.
“That’s where I wanted to be,” McPherson said. “I kind of felt like I would flip after the in-home visit, but my parents told me to go to the campus and see how you like everything. I really liked the facilities and the academic center. The people were great as well. I feel good about signing and I’m confident that I’ll have a great career at Florida.”
So is Mullen, who discussed the addition of McPherson during the early signing period.
“You check the box at placekicker,” Mullen said. “With Eddy entering the draft and announcing he was going to do that, to get Evan McPherson — who’s probably the best high school kicker in America — to come in and know that there’s a good chance you might be starting day one … I think certainly adds some security moving forward for the program.”
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