It’s not every day that a YouTube sensation gets a legitimate shot at stardom. But, for one particular Norway native, that shot has arrived.
Havard Rugland was the subject of a video posted last September which featured the talented 28-year old performing trick field goal kicks in a variety of settings. The video, titled ‘Kickalicious,’ went viral and in December he was invited to try out for the New York Jets. In March of this year, he also worked out for the Cleveland Browns.
This summer, he is with the Detroit Lions as a member of training camp and is competing with veteran kicker David Akers for a spot on the team. While it remains a long shot, ‘Kickalicious’ has impressed so far during camp.
Through three practices, Rugland was 11 out of 11 in game-like conditions including a 58-yarder.
“That big boot? He’s legit,” said Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson courtesy of theAssociated Press. ”Kickalicious is for real. He isn’t just an Internet sensation.”
Of course Rugland has never played in a regular season NFL game, let alone a preseason exhibition. He has performed very impressively so far, but the coaches want to see how he fares in a more realistic environment.
“(Rugland’s) done an impressive job, but I don’t want to get out ahead of ourselves,” general manager Martin Mayhew said on Tuesday. “He’s never played in a National Football League game. He hasn’t played a preseason game. I’d like to see him do that before we start making a judgment on him.”
We will be sure to keep you updated on this entertaining story as camp goes on. Rugland’s next test will be to show the team what he’s got on the field in their first preseason game against the Jets next Friday.