The Detroit Lions have signed Havard Rugland, also known as “Kickalicious” (or “YouTube Sensation” or “Internet Kicker”).
Rugland, from Norway, has signed a contract with the team, and will compete with the recently signed David Akers (a star in his own right) for the job to replace kicker Jason Hanson, who just retired after 21 seasons with the team.
Here’s a video of Rugland in action:
Lions insider Tim Twentyman writes in a blog post:
The Lions brought Rugland in for a tryout last month but did not sign him at the time. Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said at the NFL League Meetings last month that the team first learned about him from the internet video and through league channels.
Rugland is 6-foot-2 1/2 and 240 pounds and became familiar with the sport only a couple years ago. He has been training with former NFL kicker Michael Husted in San Diego since November of 2012 and has followed the career former NFL kicker and native Norwegian Jan Stenerud, one of only three kickers currently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Rugland reportedly tried out with the Browns and Jets before signing with the team.