The Detroit Lions are looking for a new kicker for the first time in about 20 years after parting ways with Jason Hanson. So earlier this year they decided to sign YouTube sensation “Kickalicious,” also known as Havard Rugland.
Rugland is Norwegian and has no prior football experience but that hasn’t stopped him from impressing at the Lions training camp.
According to Larry lage of the Associated Press:
Havard Rugland has not missed a kick in game-like conditions during Detroit Lions training camp, including a 58-yard field goal that got everyone’s attention that saw or heard it.
Lions personnel is agreeing too.
“That big boot? He’s legit,” receiver Nate Burleson said. ‘”Kickalicious is for real. He isn’t just an Internet sensation.”
”He’s done an impressive job, but I don’t want to get out ahead of ourselves,” Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said 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.”
It sounds like a dream come true for any NFL fan.
”It’s kind of surreal,” he said. ”A year ago, I was kicking all alone in Norway. And suddenly, I’m here.”
The Lions have also signed David Akers, so it’d be hard to imagine Rugland makes the roster if Akers is healthy.
”Does he have talent? Absolutely. Does he know what he’s getting into yet? Absolutely not,” Akers said. ”He’s really raw, but his leg is powerful enough for the NFL. The biggest thing for him is, getting experience because he doesn’t have any.”