Kickalicious, also known as Harvard Rugland, has been cut from the Detroit Lions roster.
The Lions announced Tuesday the left-footed Norwegian, an Internet sensation known as Kickalicious who had built a following with his trick-kick YouTube video before signing on with the NFL franchise, didn't make the final roster.
Rugland generated intense international media interest soon after the Lions signed him in April, a few months after Kickalicious’s YouTube video went viral. The video has been viewed nearly 1.2 million times.
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Rugland, 28, had never played professional football — at least not the kind they play in the States — but his video apparently grabbed the attention of the NFL. He made all three of his preseason field goals – from 33, 49, and 50 yards – and he also was responsible for second-half kickoffs. The Detroit Free Press noted that Rugland also was popular in the locker room.
But the Lions opted to stick with six-time Pro Bowl kicker David Akers, who has undergone a pair of off-season hernia operations but appears to have regained his leg strength and is back in form. Akers will replace Jason Hanson, who retired last spring. He has made six of seven preseason field goals, and writers say he has been impressive with his accuracy and distance in practice.
The Lions officially released Kickalicious on Tuesday, just a few hours before the team had to trim its roster to 75 players.
“He always had a smile on his face,” receiver Nate Burleson told Fox Sports Detroit. “To be honest, I think he’s a NFL-caliber kicker.
Hopefully, he’ll get an opportunity somewhere else.”
Akers, who mentored Rugland in training camp, spoke highly of the Norwegian.
“Even as big as the media thing got with him, he never had an ego,” he told Fox Sports Detroit. “He just enjoys life, has a good time at what he’s doing, tried to learn a lot. He just kind of ate up every moment of it.”
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