It’s no secret that coming to Michigan brings the opportunity to achieve success. The notoriety that past offensive lines have brought to the program only makes Ann Arbor a more enticing spot for transfers and recruits alike. They can’t ignore the recognition, the championships, the trophies and the culture. It’s something they want to be a part of.
Drake Nugent, a transfer center from Stanford, joined the Wolverines with teammate Myles Hinton this past offseason. Originally from Colorado, he joined Jon Jansen this week on In the Trenches to talk about his thought process behind his decision and what he brings to the program.
Like Hinton, he has enjoyed his time in Ann Arbor thus far, developing relationships within the locker room. The one hindrance has been working through an injury.
“I’ve never missed football for a period of time, and now I am sitting there watching everyone get better. At least I wasn’t alone — there were a lot of injuries, so I could lean on them and get after it in the weight room after practice,” Nugent shared.
When asked about why he chose Michigan, he admitted he was seeking an opportunity to get to the next level.
“I didn’t really know whether I wanted to go in the portal or not,” Nugent said. “The No. 1 thing I wanted was to come to a winning program to elevate my game. I think for me it was really to improve myself to the next level.
“I wanted to come to a place that was all about football, everybody is about the team and winning games. Somewhere with momentum, and (the Wolverines) are at a place where I can come in and help.”
Nugent also added, “I knew this would be a place that if I got the opportunity, I am pulling the trigger just because of the reputation the o-line has had, coach Moore, the running backs and everything.”
Then there’s the visible aspects of the program — the hardware. He shared how it played a factor in his decision. He wanted to work toward success on the field, and the Wolverines had all the right pieces.
“My main criteria coming out of the portal was I want to go somewhere with a good quarterback, good running back and other good o-lineman,” Nugent said. “I’m a firm believer that you are a product of your environment, and other guys around you are going to level you up and push you to be better. I wanted to go somewhere mentality wise to hold myself to higher standards.”
As for what he brings to the program, he summed it up in one word. “Competitiveness.”
“I feel like I bring a business mentality,” Nugent said. “I have fun with the guys but as soon as I am in the building, I am at practice, workouts, meetings. I take my business very seriously because I care about this.”
For Nugent, he explained, it is how he sets the tone and lets the others know he means what he says and does.
“I have been trying to carry over what I did at Stanford,” Nugent said. “I was a captain there, and one of the best honors I have had football career wise. I thought to myself it is still college football so if I apply those same standards for myself there to here, everything else will work out.”