Norway’s YouTube ‘Kickalicious’ Placekicker Signs With LionsEben Novy-Williams
The Detroit Lions signed Havard Rugland after the Norwegian kicker’s four-minute trick-shot video on YouTube drew the attention of National Football League teams.
Rugland, 28, worked out with the Lions last month and was signed yesterday, according to the team’s website. Terms of the deal weren’t announced.
In the video, titled “Kickalicious,” Rugland was shown landing a kick in a moving rowboat among the trick shots, as well as making more traditional kicks as long as 60 yards. It has over 3 million hits on the video-sharing website since being posted last year.
Rugland will compete with former San Francisco 49ers kicker David Akers to replace Jason Hanson, who retired after 21 seasons with the Lions. Akers, 38, was released by the 49ers last month after kicking three field goals in a Super Bowl loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Jill McBride Baxter, Rugland’s agent, declined in a telephone interview to comment on the financial terms of the deal. Lions spokesman Matt Barnhart said in an e-mail that the team doesn’t disclose terms of contracts with players.
Rugland has no American football experience and has worked with former NFL kicker Michael Husted to improve his technique, according to NFL.com. He had a tryout with the New York Jets in December, the network said.
Rugland was a social worker prior to coming to the U.S., Baxter said. He also played amateur soccer in Norway.