Havard Rugland Signs NFL Deal: Can a YouTube Video Now Get You a Pro Contract?


Havard Rugland is used to kicking: He is the star of the viral video below, showing off his kicking skills in a variety of locations.  

From a boat to a basketball hoop, Rugland can kick the ball anywhere, and the NFL has noticed. The Detroit Lions have drafted Rugland based in no small part of kicking showcase online. Take a look:

Rugland’s prowess in kicking footballs across rural areas, not only into a garbage can, a soccer goal, and the standard (almost cliché) football goal, is not just for show. Since the NFL team has drafted him, Rugland has been working not only to cultivate his online brand but to get in fighting shape. This is a serious departure from typical methods of recruitment and drafting, not just for the NFL, but for sports teams around the world. As Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk said:

“The idea of a guy earning a job in the NFL thanks in large part to a YouTube video feels like an almost too-perfect statement of our time.”

Native Norwegian and 6'2" and 240 pounds Rugland will be starting with the Detroit Lions in just a few months, when training kicks off (sorry). His video has drawn over 2.3 million viewers since September, and it’s clear that he is used to big audiences.  Though originally Rugland wanted to pursue soccer as a career, he has since moved on to an interest in American football that has already paid off. This video was not just a fun pastime, or something for people to watch at work, but a showcase of his abilities and an investment in his career.

Of course, how his exciting and epic kicking will translate to a NFL career remains to be seen. Hopefully Rugland will be prepared to bring his kicking skills to a more hands on approach to football.