There is no other way to say it. It is too damn hot today! In fact, with as hot as it has been most of the time this summer, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if West Lafayette started melting. All over the Midwest the past few weeks temperatures and heat index levels have been through the roof. You know something is off with the weather when your eyeglasses fog up due to the humidity. So when my summer classes ended earlier today and I drove home to Wisconsin for the week, I honestly don't know why I was expecting anything other than the same old torture many of the Purdue faithful have been experiencing recently.
On a related subject, something else is certainly due to catch fire in West Lafayette this fall, and it should specifically be coming from Ross-Ade Stadium. It's not a forest, and it's not a building. I am speaking, of course, about redshirt freshman Center Robert Kugler. Although #57 might not see the field too often this year, he might just be the next big thing and the heir apparent to man the center of our O-Line over the next few seasons.
Robert Kugler - Fr. (RS)
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA (North Allegheny HS)
6'3", 244 pounds
2012 projection: Reserve at Center
Like Patrick Bade, Robert Kugler is another guy who was selected to be a future Tight End-turned-Offensive Lineman, although this time I give Hope some credit because Kugler has a lot more mass and athleticism to work with. And he is also listed as a Center, which does not require as much size, strength or speed as the Tackle spot requires. Kugler had a fantastic high school career as a Tight End and Defensive End at North Allegheny High School in Pennsylvania. He was ranked nationally as the 9th best Tight End by Scout.com in 2010! After committing to Purdue, Kugler was redshirted his freshman season last year and made the switch to Center.
As I stated previously, Kugler is not expected to see the field much this year. Instead, he will be working on things like studying the game, putting on mass, learning Purdue's spread offense, the inter-workings of the offensive line and putting on mass. Did I mention he will be putting on mass? Currently listed at 6'3" and 244 pounds, Kugler is a pip-squeak of a Big Ten offensive lineman. But, if he works out and eats with intensity and responsibility this year, he could certainly put on a healthy 25 or 30 pounds by the start of next season when he will be a redshirt sophomore and a clear contender to take over a wide open Center position. And a college Center who is listed at 6'3", 274 pounds is fairly respectable. If all things go Robert's way this year as far as getting prepared for great goes, there is no reason to doubt that he will be a major contributor to the Purdue offense and its blocking schemes in 2013.
To all of you Twitter users, be sure to follow Kugler on his handle: @Kugs57.