Now a year older and stronger, Kugler says he is ready for the competition as he heads into his redshirt freshman year at Michigan.
“I definitely came in weaker than I expected to or wanted to,” Kugler said. “Coach Wellman and their staff have definitely got me a lot stronger than I was. I have carried it over to this year.”
Besides strength gain, Kugler has also worked on being a leader at the line of scrimmage.
“[Just] being able to master the defense where everyone is at,” Kugler said. “So I can make the right calls for everyone on the offensive line.”
At 6-foot-5, 299-pounds, Kugler certainly looks the part of a college offensive lineman. And with returning starting center Graham Glasgow suspended for U-M’s home opener on Aug. 30 versus Appalachian State, Kugler knows he has an opportunity to make his first career start.
“I think everybody would be ready,” Kugler said. “Everyone on the offensive line would be prepared. I would like to think that I would be prepared. I mean we are all working really hard, just take it one day at a time.
“There is competition all around. I mean, there is competition at every position. We’re all battling, we all want to play.”
Jack Miller, who is competing with Kugler for the starting center spot, says Kugler is making the right strides to get on the field soon.
"Pat is going to be a great player for us,” Miller said. “I think he’s got a great football I.Q. It comes from his dad. His dad being a coach in all that. Pat is a really smart guy. And he is putting in the work. Sooner than later he’s going to be a really good player for us.”