Tim Drevno pleased with progress of Patrick Kugler, Cesar Ruiz

Michigan offensive coordinator Tim Drevno is pleased with the development of Patrick Kugler and Cesar Ruiz.

Eventually Michigan will have to field five offensive lineman when the season starts.

Until then, speculation abounds with whom the Wolverines will select as the best five offensive lineman to start the season. During the spring game, it appeared that the coaching staff had a combination that performed well, however, depth charts are always fluid and sometimes things don't go according to plan.

What is going to play, according to offensive coordinator Tim Drevno, is the development of the young offensive lineman.

"I think it's come along nicely," Drevno said. "We've got a way to go, naturally, but I think we're starting to get a feel for things and blocking combinations. Understand the concepts and competing, I thought they competed really well. It was good to see, I think we're on our way."

The question facing the coaching staff in terms of the center position is whether to give it to redshirt senior Patrick Kugler or true freshman Cesar Ruiz. While both have shown flashes of doing positive things during the spring, the competition for the starting spot is far from over. It hasn't stopped Drevno from praising both of his centers.

"Kugs has done a great job this spring," Drevno said. "He's really changed his body and he's done some things outside with some yoga and you can see his flexibility come along. He's been a great leader, really vocal to those other guys in the group. Really pleased with his development. Cesar, he's going to be a special player here some day. Just the way he can snap the ball and get his hands on you and bring his feet and play with pad level. Really asks questions to you at the end of the play during the break, he's got a football awareness like a video tape machine in his head where he can play back what just happened to him and ask you if he did it right. Then he can extend the question one more part to it that you're about to get to and you're like, wow, that's pretty special. Really excited about Cesar, really excited about both of them."

Are the qualities Ruiz has from a football standpoint rare? Not quite, says Drevno. It does, however, mean that the young offensive lineman is a step ahead in his development, which allows the coaching staff to bring his development to the next level ahead of schedule.

"Not surprised but the other freshman I've been around you probably get maybe one out of three or one out of four that do that," Drevno said. "When you get one, you're like wow that's really good because you're one step ahead. You can put the pure foundation in but you can go one more step in learning. You're not so much teaching scheme, you're teaching technique which will win for you. Which is nice."


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