Lions’ Norwegian kicker finds his YouTube fame “surreal”


When Havard Rugland posted this video on YouTube, showing him kicking footballs with incredible distance and accuracy, he figured it would just be something fun to show his friends at home in Norway. He’s still shocked that it attracted millions of viewers around the world and ended with him getting invited to the United States to train with an American kicking coach, and even more shocked that he’s now under contract to the Detroit Lions.

It’s kind of surreal,” Rugland told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “I appreciate it. Feel lucky to have this opportunity, and I’m going for it.”

Rugland almost certainly won’t actually make the Lions’ 53-man roster. David Akers is set to be the Lions’ kicker, and Rugland is there less because he has a chance to beat out Akers in a competition than because the Lions wanted a second kicker on the roster for practice, and wanted that second kicker to be left-footed like Akers so that practice snaps and holds could be consistent.

But the mere fact that Rugland turned a YouTube trick shot video into a spot on an NFL team’s roster is remarkable. And with his talent for kicking a football, it’s entirely possible that an offseason of work with the Lions won’t be the end of his NFL career.

10 responses to “Lions’ Norwegian kicker finds his YouTube fame “surreal”

  1. I’m interested in anything that can remove Akers from this roster. I don’t think Akers is guaranteed to be a bad kicker, but it still doesn’t make sense to me. I would have much preferred if the Lions signed Kluwe as a Free Agent and picked the top Placekicker of the future in lieu of that 5th round Punter.

    Kluwe and Caleb Sturgis is a lot better than Sam Martin and old man Akers. The Lions are nuts.

  2. Uhh, you’re giving an awful lot of respect to David Akers. If during training camp, Akers kicks like he did last year, I’d say getting beat out by this dude is a very real possibility.

  3. He’s amazed at how much his decision to take an online Adobe Premiere course has paid off.

  4. “But the mere fact that Rugland turned a YouTube trick shot video into a spot on an NFL team’s roster is remarkable.”

    Uh, no. Not remarkable. This is the Detroit Lions. We all know how big of a factor YouTube highlight videos play in the Detroit Lions scouting process.

  5. it’s one thing to kic in a field in shorts with no one around.
    completely different story in a packed stadium, clock ticking, all pressure on with a couple of 300lb aiming to break your spine.

    best of luck chapp.

  6. I wish him all the best, but if he doesn’t make the team, at least he’ll have a fairly decent understanding of the American legal process after hanging out with his new teammates for a few months.

  7. It’s an amazing video, I’m surprised there’s not more hype around this guy…Unless he’s using some kind of trick ball, or something, he’s making crazy kicks, why wouldn’t he make a fantastic kicker?

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