YouTube Sensation Gets NFL Tryout

Havard Rugland_0YouTube has resulted in a range of arrests, singing contracts, and other recognitions for their virtual celebrity status. However, Havard Rugland may be the first to get a NFL tryout from a YouTube posting. The Norwegian posted this video showing his incredible kicking skills. It went viral and now he has had a tryout with the New York Jets.

Kicking coach and former NFLer Michael Husted worked with Rugland in San Diego. Rugland felt it went well — it had to be better than the last season for the star-crossed Jets.

The 27-year-old Rugland would like to secure an NFL contract for 2013. He would not be the first Norwegian to make the cut. One of the three kickers in the NFL Hall of Fame is Norwegian Jan Stenerud who kicked for the Chiefs, Packers and Vikings for 19 seasons. He also was a four-time Pro Bowler to boot.

Source: Daily Mail

31 thoughts on “YouTube Sensation Gets NFL Tryout

  1. I met Jan Stenerud when I was a kid. He was (in retrospect) a really good person. It was my 8th birthday and we were having the party at a now long defunct restaurant where part of the deal was an artist made small individual caricatures for the party guests. When Stenerud was recognized, he came over to the table and talked to all of us kids and signed every picture (which the artist drew with football helmets). In today’s celebrity mad culture, I don’t think you’d find many if any footballers willing to spend 20-30 minutes out of their day doing something like that with a random bunch of kids he ran into while having lunch.

    So that being said, best of luck to you Havard Rugland. If you are fortunate enough to get that NFL contract, you could do a lot worse than to follow the example of Mr. Stenerud on how to treat your public.

  2. Nice anecdote, Gene. I moved to KC toward the end of Jan’s career. He is one of the few kickers who have gotten the accolades from football that he deserved. Placekickers and punters are considered like stepchildren by the nasty owners, GM’s, and coaches. They realize intellectually these guys can win[or lose!] games for you, but they just don’t admit that. There’s a punter for the Vikings[Jan’s last team] that has been fined for wearing a handmade patch on his uniform saying Ray Guy should be enshrined. Of course, he’s been fined. I would need to check it out but Jan may be the only sole placekicker in the Hall. Before the advent of soccer kickers the kicker was often another position player, as you probably know. My take on Jan was he is a soft spoken, nice man.

  3. Those last two kicks would have done Calamity Jane credit. Any team that is not beating down his door with a contract has oatmeal mush for management brains.

    And I agree that Ray Guy should be inducted. The University of Southern Mississippi has turned out some awesome players. Besides Ray Guy, Brett Favre comes to mind. There have been others as well.

  4. OS, I have longed believed that teams don’t compete for great kickers is collusion. Keep them in their place. Don’t give too much credit for winning games but hang them out there to dry when they lose a game. “They’re not football players” mentality permeates the NFL. This keeps salaries down. For what they contribute, placekickers and punters don’t get paid shit.

  5. Nick,
    Ray Guy is the only punter ever to go as a first round draft pick. Here is a short video of John Madden advocating as to why Ray Guy ought to be in the NFL Hall of Fame.

  6. The NY Jets signed Tim Tebow for publicity and didn’t use him. They are the only team in football right now that believes piblicity is better than winning. This guy might be a great kicker but their contact with him wasn’t about making the team but getting it PR. The owner Woody Johnson has all the integrity and business skills of Trump and also hit a triple when he was born on 3rd base. I should know since I’ve despaired as a fan for fifty years. An exercize in masochism.

  7. Woosty,

    Football is not my game. But I loved catching final scores just to see the off result which indicated that a field goal made the difference. His coordination is super-unreally high.

  8. bettykath

    In a punting situation, no. Once the ball is kicked it technically belongs to the receiving team and the kicking team can only spot it at the site then catch it at.

    However, a kick off is actually a ‘free kick’ and as long as it goes 10 yards its anybodies ball. I doubt anyone could get down field fast enough for a TD reception but it could make for some pretty exciting ‘on-side’ kick attempts. If he can hit a guy 15-20 yards down field it could be a game changer.

    The NFL would issue new rules preventing this the first time one of their premier teams lost on the play. There used to be a lot more blocked field goal attempts until the Miami Dolphins lost a play-off spot to Matt Blair’s ability to time his leap. Shula got that made illegal at the next competition committee meeting.

  9. Frankly, What is a punting situation? I guess a punting situation is anytime a player kicks the ball rather than run or throw it? Exceptions being kickoff and point after and field goal. This guy did a successful 60 yard kick. So field goals rather than punts once they get to the 60 yard line.

  10. bettykath:

    Punting is the safest way to turn over possession of the football. You get to kick it as far away from your goal as you can before the other team receives it. I once had a coach in college who said it was the best offensive play we had since it usually averages 35 or more yards – net. I guess he forgot at the end of the play you lose the ball. He liked it so much that one time he ordered a punt on third down and 20. That was great for our morale. He’s not coaching anymore as you probably guessed. I think he’s a motivational speaker.

  11. mespo, lol. I understand that you want the other team to start as far away from their goal as possible, but which team is on the field? Is the defensive team still on the field? Is the offensive team (that wasn’t able to go 10 yds in 3 plays) still on the field? If so, are the previously defensive team able to run it back? Is the offensive, now able to stop them? Or did the punter coming on the field call for a complete change of offensive team to defensive team and vice versa?

    I used to watch but anything in my brain that’s that old tends to be forgotten and I don’t have tv so I can’t watch to try to figure it out.

  12. bk,
    Most teams use a ‘special teams’ group of players for the kicking game. The key, of course is the kicker. Kickers are either a punter (kicks the ball after dropping it) and the place kicker (kicks from a tee). There are a few multitalented people like the fellow in the video who can do both.

  13. mike, yea, i know. unlikely b/c if he misses the other team takes it there. but still…… score tied, time for only one more play, a kicker who’s strong enough to do it, especially with a qb who hasn’t been connecting. It could happen. Hope I’m watching.

  14. mespo, There’s a high school coach in Arkansas who has raised eyebrows w/ his game plan of using all 4 downs on offense and not punting. I love people who give the finger to conventional wisdom.

  15. Jan Stenerud is the only dedicated kicker in Hall of Fame. There are two other kickers but they also played other positions. The flaw of early kickers was their physic. They couldn’t have stopped a return if their life depended on it. Rugland, a seasoned soccer-player, stand 6’2 and weighs in at 142 lb. I have the same background (Norwegian, soccer, weight and height) as Rugland and it took me 60 days to place in as a tight end on a college football team back in the 90′. I only had to learn what to do when but as many of you will recognize, tight end is a little “weird” position and therefore you don’t have to be that acknowledgeable on football to play there. There is no reason Rugland shouldn’t be a sensation as a kicker in NFL. Mind you, I have no experience on the difference between college and pro-ball but I am sure he will persevere.

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