Sam Webb: Coaches have raved about your game thus far. I’ve been curious to hear about your game from your perspective. Tell us, if you’re a scout in the stands, and you’re watching Patrick Kugler on the field, what do you see?
Patrick Kugler: “I would just say mean. I mean, people who I go against don’t like me very much. I try to be the meanest guy out there. My dad taught me that. Just, if anything, be mean. I just try to be mean all the time, and if you’re pounding them into the ground, they just don’t want to get back up. That’s my goal.”
Sam Webb: Have you ever been on the field against someone and done something to them, and said ‘oh man, I feel bad about that’. Have you ever felt bad about something you did?
Patrick Kugler: “One time. This guy, he kicked me the play before, and I just grabbed him by the face mask and ripped it off, but I mean, I felt bad about that afterwards, but at the time it seemed like the right thing to do.”
Sam Webb: Yeah, there’s that nasty streak that they talk about. Tremendous ability to get out, to pull from the center position, to get out to the second and third level of the defense, but the other thing we notice about you, you played some guard out here, we’ve seen you play some tackle with your school. Is it definitely center for you at Michigan?
Patrick Kugler: “I mean, that’s what they’re saying. They say I can play guard or center, just depending on the depth and everything, they said center is probably the most likely place for me, and here, I’ve actually only been snapping for about two weeks now, because I play tackle in high school, so I mean, center’s a new position for me, but I’m really excited to be able to do it at this game, but I mean, right now I feel more comfortable at guard, but I’m really excited to play center at Michigan.”
Sam Webb: Let’s talk about your linemates, because you’re lining up to some guys that you’ll be playing with. Dave Dawson, nasty guy.
Patrick Kugler: “Yeah, definitely.”
Sam Webb: We don’t know if you’ll play with Cam Hunt, but nasty guy. Do you see that nastiness kind of flocking to Michigan a little bit?
Patrick Kugler: “Oh, definitely. Coach Funk is really recruiting people that play nasty. I mean, other people too, Kyle Bosch, Chris Fox, they’re great players. Logan’s here. I mean, he’s trying to get people who will play nasty, and that’s what you have to do in the Big Ten. That’s what the Big Ten is made of just nasty players.”
Sam Webb: We were talking to Cameron Hunt, and he said he’s kind of making a little connection with you there.
Patrick Kugler: “Definitely.”
Sam Webb: Patrick Kugler the offensive lineman, but are we talking to Patrick Kugler the recruiter as well?
Patrick Kugler: “I mean, I’ve never actually met Cam before this week, but I mean, I’ve really connected with him. We’re possibly taking another lineman, so this is to you, Cam, if you get this, you have to (commit) to Michigan. I mean, I feel like me and him next to each other would definitely be a dynamic duo.”
Sam Webb: So now you guys obviously want to block for talented players as well. What do you know about Derrick Green? You talk to Derrick Green? You heard from Derrick Green? What about him?
Patrick Kugler: “I haven’t talked to him. I mean, there are some rumors going around he might be going to Michigan. Hopefully, that’s true. He’s a – I saw some of his games on TV, and he’s just a baller, so I’m hoping that he’ll make the right decision and go to Michigan, but it’s up to him, and that’s his decision.”
Sam Webb: After this game, clearly this is big deal, great honor, but after this game, what’s next for Pat Kugler? What are you doing? Training, participating in any other sports?
Patrick Kugler: “Unfortunately, surgery. I have a posterior labrum tear, so I have to get that in the middle of January, but that’s only a four month rehab. I’m not excited about it, but they told me my shoulder will be stronger after, so in the long run, it might be good for me, but as of right now, I just have to – I’m going to be rehabbing and all that good stuff.”
Sam Webb: As far as competing at Michigan, are they talking about you competing for time as a true freshman? And if so, is that going to set you back any?
Patrick Kugler: “I feel like it would definitely set me back, but they said that I can come in and compete, and if not, I would actually love to red shirt. I feel like getting that fifth year of education would be great, but if I can compete for a spot, I’m definitely going to compete, and I’m just there, I’m hoping to compete for a starting spot, but if not, I’m very content with red shirting this year.”
Sam Webb: On a scale of one to ten, the status of your Michigan commitment, what would it be?
Patrick Kugler: “Ten out of ten, no doubt. I’m not even talking to any other schools.”