I think it’s fair to say that Michigan and their fan base can agree on one thing: Head Coach Brady Hoke knows how to recruit offensive lineman. Patrick Kugler is no exception to Hoke’s dominance on the recruiting trail. Kugler is an interesting prospect to breakdown, and that isn’t a bad thing. By “interesting” I actually mean that he is an extremely versatile on the offensive line. This could be good news for the coaching staff, mainly because if someone on the line goes down, Kugler is a guy who can step in and be productive fast. Patrick is actually the son of an offensive line coach, so learning the positions will be next to nothing for Kugler, which could be a tremendous advantage for him, especially if he wants to contribute early in his career.
I see Kugler starting to get significant playing time once he’s payed his dues, and proved to the staff he can play, and I’m confident that it may not take as long as some think. Kugler is playing OT during his high school play time, however, if he wants to stay in the “lineup” so to speak, he may have an easier time doing so playing the OG position. That isn’t asking too much of Kugler, and I think Patrick would say the exact same thing. Learning the position seems to be his biggest challenge, mainly because it will be adapting to a completely new position, and will have to adjust to the line calls and make sure he knows the proper areas to block, and who to block. Kugler will have a bunch of help with his progression, especially at home. His father is an offensive line coach, so all he needs to do is call ‘pops’ and it should be a smooth process for him. And he has the support of his offensive line coaches too, who will be doing majority of the work for Kugler’s future success, and the work he needs to be putting in in order for it to be a happy marriage for him and the Wolverines.
Although it seems as if Kugler has his best foot forward in terms of getting a shot at playing, he has to do a few necessary adjustments in order to be that total package that Hoke & CO hope for when they offered and signed him. One of those things is to beef up. If Kugler continues to add to his frame (he’s currently 6-4 275) which shouldn’t be difficult once he’s at a college level work out program and eating routine, or as you health nuts call it, a diet. Kugler could easily add 5-15 pounds over the course of the workout programs, and spring practices, it’s just whether or not he is willing to put the work in. There is no reason he couldn’t be a big time player for UM, and I think he’ll do whatever it takes to be a successful player. He seems like a very smart player and smart person, so the adaptation seems as if it will be easy for him. I don’t think it would be unfair to compare him to a player like David Molk, although it is different positions, Molk was a solid OL while wearing Maize and Blue, and I think Kugler will follow his footsteps.
Overall, I am sold on Kugler. His work ethic and strength in the trenches is for real, and his ability to become the best OL he could be is also. Knowledge will be key for Kugler, and with all the surrounding help he has, it should be an easy transition from High School football to College.
As Always, Go Blue!