Patrick Kugler was a prized recruit in his recruiting class coming out of high school. Unfortunately for him, that high ranking didn't quite equate to playing time during his Michigan career.
Now, heading into his fifth and final season of eligibility, he has one more shot to get that playing time he desperately craves. He's learned the value of earning a starting role the hard way, by being outworked. Now, he has a clear mind and understands that the work never ends and every day presents a new opportunity to outwork the competition.
"It's my last opportunity, it's my last go-around," Kugler said. "I battled it out last year and I didn't end up getting the starting job, that happens. I am trying to make the most out of this opportunity, seizing every opportunity that I can get. You've got to outwork everybody. There'd be times where I got outworked last year and I didn't put in the extra work in past couple of years. It's just about getting all the extra work that you possibly can."
Now that Kugler is in his fifth year, he also has the option to explore guaranteed starting roles elsewhere as a graduate transfer. When asked if that thought ever crossed his mind, Kugler quickly shot that idea down, saying that he is dedicated to fighting for his role on the team and to earn a starting role.
"No, it's Michigan through and through for me," Kugler said. "It's Go Blue all the way... I think that I am one of the top five, everyone thinks that they're the top five. If I don't earn [a starting job] during spring camp, I'll earn it during the fall. If I don't, I'll try to be the best senior leader on the team regardless of what my role is on the team."