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You have got to see this. Viral video leads to lucrative football contract for Norwegian kicker

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
December 26th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A young Norwegian lad, videotaped by his family and friends in amazing feats of football-ery has since inspired major NFL interest here in the states. Havard Rugland's soccer demonstration has raked up more than a million hits on such sites as YouTube. Rugland has since won a tryout for the New York Jets.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "It went well," Rugland told Norwegian TV. "They tested me on field goals and kickoffs. Obviously you feel a little more pressure here, but I stayed pretty calm."

The 27-year-old Rugland, in his video performs some outrageous tricks and kicks, from nailing 60-yard field goals to soccer-style scissor kicks and volleys with American footballs.

Shot by Rugland, his brother and some friends, the video rapidly went viral on the Internet, racking up more than 950,000 hits and garnering interest from three U.S. colleges and the Jets.

The one catch is that Rugland has no prior American football experience. Kicking Coach Michael Husted says that if he continues to develop, he could reach the NFL.

"Havard has incredible talent as a kicker," Husted, who played nine seasons as an NFL kicker, told reporters.

"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."

Husted says he became aware of Rugland via the YouTube video, Husted said he was asked to bring the kicker to San Diego to prepare him for a trial with an NFL team.

"A [general manager] from an NFL team contacted me about Havard. He wanted Havard to come to train with me in San Diego before they were going to fly him in for a workout.

"He reminds me a lot of (Sebastian) Janikowski in terms of stature and strength," Husted said, drawing a parallel between Rugland and the Oakland Raiders' Polish placekicker.

It's a long trek to the NFL from Harvard's hometown of Aalgaard in southern Norway.

"On this trip things have evolved rapidly, from just training alone to training to try out for a team. From where I am now, playing in the NFL is a long way to go, but my goal is to get a contract before the preparations begin for next season," Rugland says.

Even if Rugland nails a pro contract, he will still have a long way to go before he matches the achievements of fellow Norwegian Jan Stenerud.

Stenerud, one of only three kickers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, played 19 seasons in the NFL and is one of the highest scorers in the game's history.

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