“Kickalicious,” a talented placekicker who rose to national prominence after his YouTube video went viral, has earned a contract with the NFL’s Detroit Lions.
A 28-year-old from Norway, Rugland developed a massive Internet following when a YouTube video demonstrating his kicking prowess went viral. In the video, "Kickalicious" performs a variety of otherwise unfathomable stunts, such as kicking 60-yard field goals with ease. Incredibly, Rugland said he has never previously played organized football.
According to Michael Husted, a former NFL placekicker who trained Rugland, the young Norwegian is comparable to Oakland Raiders standout Sebastian Janikowski, a massive kicker with a penchant for long field goals.
“Havard has incredible talent as a kicker," Husted told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in a December interview. "He has a cannon for a leg. As he continues to refine his technique, he could be one of the strongest kickers in the NFL."
When asked how the Lions heard about the unheralded Rugland, head coach Jim Schwartz said: “"Kickalicious? Same way you guys did,” the Detroit Free Press reports.
Rugland also received a tryout with the New York Jets before signing with Detroit. The YouTube sensation will compete with journeyman David Akers to fill the void left by the retirement of longtime Lions kicker Jason Hanson.
You can watch the “Kickalicious” video, which has generated more than three million views on YouTube, below.