March 5, 2012

From the film room: Patrick Kugler

Four-star offensive lineman Patrick Kugler became the 13th member of the 2013 recruiting class to commit to the Wolverines Feb. 25, and there are plenty of reasons to be excited about his potential ...

Our talent evaluator is a former All-Big Ten performer at Michigan that prefers anonymity.

Strengths: Kugler shows great hand placement and punch when he engages his opponent. He comes off the ball strong with good blocking angles and shows very little hesitation before impact on the defender. He does a good job of lowering his 6-5 frame to get under the smaller high school opponents he faces.

Kugler shows really good ability on his pulls to keep his shoulders square upfield instead of turning to the sideline and losing the proper angle of attack. His footwork is good as he is not caught off balance when defenders try to throw him off of blocks. Most importantly, Kugler shows that he likes to put defenders into the turf with violence.

Areas of Improvement: Kugler is best and most impressive blocking down linemen. His second level approach is good but will need to continue to improve to block Big Ten linebackers. He's got good footwork but will need to improve his foot speed to be a top flight Michigan O-Lineman.

Because he is so big and strong, he can play a bit high and still impose his will on the defender. Like all the young Michigan lineman commits, he will need to continue to polish his technique in preparation for the challenges of the college game.

College Projection: Guard or Center

Michigan Player Comparison - Steve Everitt (Center from 1989-92): Everitt played tackle in high school but made a smooth transition to center and became one of the best centers to ever play at Michigan. Kugler shows the same signs of athleticism as Everitt as well as the same level of nastiness.

The Bottom Line: Kugler joins a group of young linemen that will be arriving in Ann Arbor that all share a few traits - they are all 6-5 or taller, weigh 280 pounds or more, are very athletic for their size, and play with a nasty edge that makes their opponent question how long they want to stay in the game.

Like the rest of his future teammates, Kugler must continue to develop his skills and knowledge of the game in preparation for the college level. Brady Hoke has talked about how Big Ten Championship-caliber teams are always more physical and aggressive than their opponents. Kugler's size and playing style fits that exact mold that Michigan expects for it's offensive line.

This is another great looking young player that has a bright future ahead of himself and will benefit from the high level of competition that he will face when he steps on to the Michigan practice field.

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