Weight: 297 lbs.
High school: Wexford (PA) North Allegheny
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #57
Last year: I ranked Kugler #75 and said he would be a backup center. He played in one game.
Kugler has not lived up to the expectations some people had for him coming out of high school. A highly ranked player, the son of an NFL offensive line coach (and now the head coach at UTEP), Kugler was expected to compete for playing time very early on an offensive line that was not very productive. Some thought he would play as a true freshman or beat out Jack Miller as a redshirt freshman. Instead, he has never been higher than the third-string guy, and the one game he played last season was when part-time center Graham Glasgow was suspended.
Whether we like it or not, Kugler is a key backup this season. The Wolverines have not done a great job of recruiting the center position in recent years. It's perhaps the most important position on the offensive line, so it's dangerous to ignore. The danger level rose a bit this offseason when Jack Miller, who would have been a fifth year senior in 2015, chose to leave the program. He had been the starter for all of 2014 and part of 2013, and he had been a solid contributor. In steps Glasgow, who played center quite a bit in 2013 but spent most of his time at left guard last year. Glasgow ran into some more legal trouble this offseason, and I don't know if he can be counted on to be available for an entire season. The coaching staff tried left tackle Mason Cole at center this spring, but his snaps were very inconsistent. Backup interior lineman Blake Bars has also snapped the ball a little bit, but he can get overpowered and does not maintain leverage well. If anything happens to Glasgow, the easiest thing will be to insert Kugler, but he has a lot to prove.
Prediction: Backup center