Detroit Lions kicker Havard Rugland, better known as YouTube sensation “Kickalicious”, entered the team’s offseason workouts not knowing how to put on a helmet or football pads. However, Rugland is a quick learner and it looks like the Norwegian born kicker could potentially take the league by storm and beat out veteran David Akers for Detroit’s starting kicking gig.
According to mLive.com, Rugland was blasting 50-yard field goals one after another during the team’s minicamp, and his rapid improvement has caught the eye of head coach Jim Schwartz.
“Yeah, he made some nice field goals today,” Schwartz said. “He’s obviously got a strong leg. Every step you try to temper, ‘Well, let’s see what happens when there’s a snapper or holder out there, let’s see what happens when he’s got a defense that’s rushing at him.’ I don’t know how much we can rush right now, it’s hard to say.
“He’s done a nice job working through all the different things that are new to him. That’s encouraging to see. He doesn’t over kick and a lot of guys have a tendency to. You get those 55-yarders and those longer kicks, he’s got plenty of leg strength.”
It would be a really surprising story if Rugland was able to come in to camp and earn a starting job, especially if that came by beating out a player of Akers’ caliber.
The good news for Rugland is that even if things don’t work out for the Lions he could see a job offer down the road.
When you have the type of kicking power that Rugland possesses, it is only a matter of time until someone will be willing to give you a shot once you show the kicking power translates well. For Rugland, that is exactly what he is beginning to do.