Havard Rugland, the YouTube kicking sensation turned Detroit Lions camp invitee, is off to a fine start.
Rugland was 11-of-11 in game-like conditions over three practices through Wednesday, including a 58-yarder. Rugland remains a substantial long shot to make the Lions' final roster, but he's certainly removed himself from consideration in the Lauren Silberman fraud category.
"That big boot? He's legit," teammate Nate Burleson said, via The Associated Press. "Kickalicious is for real. He isn't just an Internet sensation."
It's important to keep perspective when breaking down Rugland's success early in camp. The Norway native has never played in an actual football game, which is a world away from controlled practice settings.
Then there's his competition. David Akers -- signed by the Lions in April -- is a six-time Pro Bowl selection who's been one of the best kickers of the 2000s. Akers, 38, is back to full health after a difficult 2012 season with the San Francisco 49ers.
"(Rugland's) done an impressive job, but I don't want to get out ahead of ourselves," Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said Tuesday. "He's never played in a National Football League game. He hasn't played a preseason game. I'd like to see him do that before we start making a judgment on him."
In other words, hold off on purchasing that personalized Rugland jersey for the time being. An Akers injury or retirement to the monastery might be Rugland's only shot at making the team.
But whatever. It's a nice story. Also, it provides us with an easy excuse to post Rugland's YouTube video yet again. Huzzah!