Evensen, who has played professionally in arena leagues and overseas, just completed performing at a regional kicking combine and is awaiting other professional opportunities. In the meantime, he plans to kick for the Boltz, rejoining coach Aaron Fentress, whom Evensen kicked for with the Portland Monarchs in 2011.
“Matt is a weapon,” Fentress said. “Although, in our high-scoring offense he hasn’t had as many field goal chances as he might have liked, he certainly has had numerous chances to show off his powerful leg on kickoffs. He once had nine touchbacks in single game for my former team. We hope to give him the same number of opportunities on a weekly basis this season and maybe with a few more field goal attempts sprinkled in.”
Evensen will be reunited with Oregon offensive line coach Josh Tschirgi, who played offensive line at Oregon from 2003 to 2007. Boltz wide receiver Zack McGinnis was a walk-on receiver at Oregon during that time, as well.
Evensen was a three-sport letterman at Portland’s Franklin High School where he earned first-team all-Portland Interscholastic League honors in both soccer and football, boasting a prep-best 53-yard field goal for the 2001 PIL champion Quakers.
Evensen was no ordinary kicker. He also played safety and in track and field did the long jump and ran sprints.
“Matt is not merely a kicker,” Fentress said. “He is an athlete who happens to be a great kicker. That only ads to his abilities because he does everything with the added dynamic of being extremely athletic.”
Evensen went on to earn four letters at Oregon. As a freshman in 2005, Evensen averaged 55.7 yards on a team-high 62 kickoffs while driving the ball into the end zone 13 times for touchbacks in 11 games.
In 2006, Evensen averaged 59.3 yards per kickoff while placing 20 of 64 attempts in the end zone. He received Oregon special teams player of the week for his performance in wins against Arizona State and UCLA. He had a combined 10 touchbacks in both games.
Evensen finally became more than merely a kickoff specialist in 2007 and delivered in a big way by leading the team in scoring with 7.8 points per game, which ranked fourth in the Pac-10 Conference.
Evensen that year made 16 of 20 field goal attempts, including 11 of 12 inside 40 yards. A semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award (nation’s top collegiate place-kicker), Evensen also made all 52 of his extra point attempts to finish with 100 points for the season.
His kickoff average rose to 63.1 per kick and he had 17 touchbacks.
Evensen’s elite performances continued his senior year when he scored 68 points and was selected Pac-10 special teams player of the week after making four field goals in a win over Purdue.
Evensen finished his career ranked sixth on Oregon’s all-time scoring list (202 points) and tied for seventh on its career field goal chart (32).
In 2010, Evensen played for the Yakima Valley Warriors of the AIFA. But the indoor game proved to be a virtual waste of the talents in his powerful leg.
Fentress had been recruiting Evensen for more than a year when the kicker decided to play for the Monarchs in 2011. Then in 2012, he took his talents overseas to play for the Berlin Rebels of the GFL1 in Europe.
Evensen made 19 of 24 field goals with all of his misses coming from more than 50 yards out. He had a long of 57 and 33 toucdbacks.
Evensen led the GFL1 in field goals made, net punting (37.8) and average kickoff (65.4).
Evensen is hoping to to get a shot at a higher level and has been very aggressive in pursuing his dream by constantly working on his craft and attending camps and workouts.
“Matt is a great of example of how tough it can be for even the most talented kickers to break into the NFL or CFL,” Fentress said. “There are so few jobs (40 combined) and kickers can easily hold jobs for a decade, or more. But he certainly has next-level abilities. Hopefully he’ll get another shot. We’re happy to provide him with another platform on which to display his skills.”
Matt’s kicking blog can be found here, complete with statistics and videos.