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McPherson nominated to 'Good Works' team

Senior running back honored for dedication to community service, academics, perseverance, inspiration to others

 

Sam McPherson on the way to a touchdown against Montana State in 2017.

Eastern Washington University senior running back Sam McPherson is among 169 football players nationally who were announced by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) as nominees for the 2018 Allstate Insurance AFCA Good Works Team®.

The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® has been one of the most esteemed honors in college football for more than 25 years. The student-athletes who are nominated for this award not only demonstrate a unique dedication to community service and desire to make a positive impact on the lives around them, but they also show tremendous perseverance as well as the ability to overcome personal struggles and come out victorious against all odds.

He was among 99 players nominated in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA. There were 70 nominees at the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level.

"Sam is a true reflection of what we identify, recruit and expect from out of an EKG (Eastern Kind of Guy)," Eagle head coach Aaron Best said. "Sam is a good player but an even better person. His off-field commitments are an example for all."

A 2016 graduate of Bothell (Wash.) High School, McPherson served on Eastern Washington University's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) in 2016-2017 and 2017-2018.

SAAC exists to create a safe environment for discussion of all aspects of the student-athlete's life. They strive to better their community with community service, event organization, and leadership. As leaders, they hope to promote open communication between student-athletes, students, and staff.

Academically, McPherson is an Academic All-America candidate and has been selected to the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Big Sky Conference All-Academic team. An interdisciplinary studies major, he has a 3.75 grade point average thus far at EWU and hopes to go into the aerospace industry.

McPherson has career totals of 649 yards rushing, 448 receiving and 1,259 all-purpose yards in 30 games played (one as a starter). He's even a perfect 3-of-3 passing for 77 yards and touchdowns on all three passes.

As a junior, he earned honorable mention All-Big Sky honors as selected by the league's head coaches. He finished the season with 477 rushing yards and 252 receiving on 19 catches.

He was injured and missed EWU's last game of the season versus Portland State on Nov. 18, but that came after he rushed for a career-high 118 yards on eight carries against North Dakota the week prior to earn team offensive player of the week honors. He suffered his injury on a career-long 55-yard rush that set-up a touchdown to give EWU a 21-7 lead in what would finish as a 21-14 victory. He also had three catches for 37 yards in just one half of action.

McPherson was also the team's co-offensive player of the week one week earlier versus Weber State (Nov. 4) when he had 69 rushing yards on 13 carries and caught a pair of passes for 11 more. McPherson made the first start of his career at UC Davis (Oct. 7), and in his first series as a starter, he gathered in a 40-yard touchdown pass.

Against Sacramento State (Sept. 30), McPherson completed a 43-yard touchdown pass to quarterback Gage Gubrud in the 52-31 home victory. He had a career-high 70 receiving yards on three catches versus Montana (Sept. 23), including a career-long TD reception of 50 yards and an additional scoring catch of 2 yards. In all, he rushed for at least 50 yards in six of the 10 games he played.

While at Bothell, McPherson was a first-team 4A All-State selection by the Associated Press as both a running back and defensive back. He was named by the Seattle Times as a "Red Chip" selection as one of the top 18 prospects in the state of Washington.

 

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