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Posted on Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 11:17 a.m.

Michigan football team grabs fifth 4-star offensive lineman for 2013 class

By Kyle Meinke

More on Michigan's week-long recruiting barrage: Commit Nos. 1 and 2 | Historic Six | No. 7 Jake Butt | No. 8 Logan Tuley-Tillman | No. 9 Jaron Dukes, a Columbus receiver

The Michigan football team now has five four-star offensive linemen verbally committed to its 2013 recruiting class.

No other Big Ten team has more than four commitments overall.

There are a lot of impressive numbers related to the Wolverines' week-long recruiting spree, which included 10 commitments, but that perhaps is most impressive of all.

The latest player to pledge to Michigan is Pennsylvania four-star offensive lineman Patrick Kugler, who did so Saturday morning according to his Twitter account.

"Committed to the University of Michigan! Gonna be a Wolverine!" he tweeted.

Kugler is the 13th player to join Michigan's 2013 class. The next closest team in the Big Ten is Ohio State at four. Michigan State, which hosts a junior day this weekend that Kugler was supposed to attend, has two.

Kugler is ranked by Rivals as the country's No. 54 overall player. That means the Wolverines' entire five-man offensive line class ranks among the country's top 200 players: Chris Fox (No. 46), Kyle Bosch (No. 60), Logan Tuley-Tillman (109), David Dawson (199) and Kugler.

That comes after Michigan's four-man offensive line class for 2012 finished third in the country, according to Rivals. Those two classes combine for one five-star, seven four-stars and one three-star prospect.

Of course, verbal commitments for 2013 are nonbinding until letters of intent are signed next February. But, barring something cataclysmic, that will stack up as a terrific two-year haul.

It also should help bolster depth down the road after Michigan had to play with just eight scholarship offensive linemen last season. Coach Brady Hoke has said that's roughly half what he desires.

Jeff Hecklinski, Michigan's receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, said earlier this month on signing day that offensive line will be a point of focus for every class going forward.

"Look, Big Ten football, Michigan football, has always been won up front," he said. "And, every year, the emphasis is going to be on getting kids who can help us win up front.

"Our emphasis is on the toughness of our lines, and that’s where we truly believe Michigan football starts, and we truly believe that’s where winning football starts."

Now, though, Michigan could be done at the position until 2014. Scout Midwest recruiting expert Allen Trieu said recruits were saying Michigan coaches planned to take five players at the position.

Kugler, then, could be the final piece, and quite a piece he is.

The Wexford, Penn., native had 25 offers, according to Rivals, including from programs such as Florida, Florida State, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Penn State and Stanford.

He stands 6-foot-5, 280 pounds.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 2:43 a.m.

Great job coach Hoke and staff!!!! Perhaps if you get 5 spare minutes you could go over and coach up Beilien and Boreseth on recruiting because they sure do not get it like you do!!! We are lucky to have you!! GO BLUE!!!!!

Don Brake

Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 12:46 a.m.

I agree GoBig, only I think we could get him a recliner, put it in the shotgun formation, snap the ball to him while he's sitting, let him go through his progressions...THEN he could get out of his seat and find the open receiver! I like our chances going forward.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 12:54 a.m.

With the lineman Michigan is getting whoever the RB's are will be NFL picks- rather they should be or not. Notice how Heisman trophy winner Mark Ingram was eclipsed by Trent Richardson at Alabama. Ingram gets picked in the first, gets three years guaranteed and runs for 450 yards. Richardson will likely do the same. Be the first back chosen. Then eclipsed his rookie year by some undrafted free agent. For all we know Touissant may be one of the best backs in the country. Thomas Rawls or Sione Houma or Justice Hays or Drake Johnson will probably run for 2000 in a season if any are the featured back in a few years. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. Go Blue


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 1:21 a.m.

Amen brother!


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 12:42 a.m.

More great recruiting news ! Never doubt Hoke ! I always had a feeling that Hoke would have great success here.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 9:30 p.m.

On paper these 5 OL players translate to solid possibilities. These players are 1 year away from signing letters of intent and they are teenagers to say the least. All that being said the possibilities for Mich. look promising.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 9:27 p.m.

Wow. Talk about being "on a roll"...Hoke and Co. are stacking up 4 star players like cordwood. The future looks very bright for Michigan football....and with that snake in the grass at ohio, and the strides Sparty has made in the last few years under Dantonio, the B1G should finally be able to compete with the SEC on the field and in the polls. It 'aint a pipedream to start talking NC in our future...I'll predict we make a run for it in 2014 or more likely 2015 when Morris is up to speed and the Oline has come together as a unit. There isn't anything in sports that comes close to college football...cannot wait for the season to begin...GO BLUE!!!!


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

Where are the speedy shifty guys?? It worked with RR system. Way to go Coach Hoke!!

Terry Star21

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 7:03 p.m.

"Look, Big Ten football, Michigan football, has always been won up front," he said. "And, every year, the emphasis is going to be on getting kids who can help us win up front. "Our emphasis is on the toughness of our lines, and that's where we truly believe Michigan football starts, and we truly believe that's where winning football starts." Without getting into specifics about a three year period, to me this is what it's all about. I missed, and I think one of my biggest frustrations came from the lack of this Michigan football tradition. MgoBlueForTiM.......winning up front and on the scoreboard...


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 10:13 p.m.

Terry: I am not sure that is a Michigan tradition so much as just smart football (the way Andy Reid and Tom Coughlin try to win). Of course, it is tradition at Michigan to be winning and to have strong lines, but that is not really different than most winning programs. It's just good to see the top rated talent back in the fold, and to see coaches who have a plan and are executing that. That criticism goes back to last years of LC too.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 6:40 p.m.

It has been a long time since I last posted, but I am compelled at this time to state the obvious that something very good is going on in Ann Arbor. The father of this kid is Offensive Line coach for the Pittsburg Steelers. He could play anywhere given his offer sheet, but he chose Michigan because it felt like home. Those of us that have been associated with Michigan for years know what that special feeling is. It is absolutely great we have leadership and coaching that can compete with anyone yet also know how to leverage what is truly special about Michigan. Message to other top recruits. Don't wait too long if you want to be part of the best that can be offered.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 6:16 p.m.

This class will be filled by the time I drink GREEN BEER.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 6:11 p.m.

Don't know how many times I can amazing or awesome or outstanding. I agree with GoBigBlue's comments on the protection Shane Morris will have. This will be better than what Mike Hart had so the future tailback corps will also have a lot of protection. February isn't even over with, what will March bring? Can't wait.

Michigan Man

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 6:03 p.m.

One of these new guys, possibly Patrick Kugler, seem destined for the center position, which is fine with me.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 5:18 p.m.

Good lord - right after I read something about how in the M-Ohio recruiting war that Brady Hoke will basically cede Pennsylvania to Urban Legend, we land a high-end recruit from that state. This keeps getting better and better.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 5 p.m.

ohio wanted this guy to. . .so let's see how the troll's spin this! welcome to MICHIGAN Patrick kugler !!! GOBIGBLUE i to hope we can get TY ISSAC, this is turning out to be a fantastic class!! GO BLUE!!!!!!


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 4:36 p.m.

Wow - Hoke definitely understands that BIG Ten football is won in the trenches. Looking forward to seeing these incredible linemen perform on the field for years to come. GO BLUE!


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 4:31 p.m.

Looks like when Shane Morris starts taking snaps he may have upwards of 5 minutes in the pocket to throw the ball! No reason why Michigan shouldn't have the best Oline in the country in 2 yrs. Please get us Ty Issac as a late Christmas gift and the rest is gravy. Go Blue!