Whether he’s just a training-camp gimmick or has a legitimate shot for a NFL career remains to be seen. Either way, Havard Rugland — a.k.a. “Kickalicious” from YouTube fame — is having the time of his life these days. Rugland, signed by the Detroit Lions, put a football helmet on Friday for the very first time during his rookie mini-camp debut. It’s been quite a ride for the 28-year-old Norwegian since he became an overnight sensation by posting a trick-kick video on the internet that features him kicking a football into a trash can, boat, basketball hoop and even a moving car. “I wanted an opportunity to show my skills,” Rugland, a left-footed kicker, said following Saturday’s practice. “I had no idea it would end up like this. “I was lucky. I got the opportunity, performed well and here I am.” Rugland started receiving calls from college football teams, rugby clubs and eventually got a tryout with the Lions, New York Jets and Cleveland Browns. The Lions, who have an opening for a kicker following Jason Hanson’s retirement, also signed veteran David Akers, who was with the San Francisco 49ers last season. Nevertheless, Rugland has high hopes of fulfilling this football fantasy. “I’m really serious about it,” he said. “I’m doing my best to get better every day. There’s a lot of people wanting a spot on NFL teams. You have to perform good. They wouldn’t sign me if they didn’t see something in talent or potential.” Lions coach Jim Schwartz joked that Rugland won’t even know how to put on his uniform properly when the team begins to practice in full pads. “He’s good at kicking the ball into cars that are driving down the road, helicopters and boats and stuff like that,” Schwartz said, slightly exaggerating Rugland’s tricks. “I don’t think you get any more points for doing that. You’ve got to kick it between the goal posts.
'Kickalicious' puts football helmet on for first time
Fox Sports Detroit | May 11