Patrick Kulger, offensive lineman for the Michigan Wolverines. This may seem like a weird place to begin an article on Josh Lugg, but let me assure you, there is no other place to start telling his story. When he was younger, Josh crammed into the bleachers on cold fall nights to see his high school team, North Allegheny, play. There were many players on the field, but one stood out from the rest. Every Friday night, Josh stood in awe as he witnessed Patrick destroy other players. From then on he knew he wanted to be just like his role model, Patrick.
In the seventh grade, Josh started playing football as a wide receiver and cornerback. He did not move to the offensive line until the end of his sophomore season.
Because he started out playing receiver and cornerback he has naturally quick feet, which gives him an advantage over other players. He is laterally explosive and has quick hips to get out of his stance. One of the reasons he is so unbeatable is his extensive understanding of the game. He spends a lot of time studying film and formations. During games, he can recognize what kind of blitz, stunt, or coverage the defense is running.
His physical and mental abilities set him apart from other lineman in his class. These differences made him highly sought after; coaches know they need a player like Josh on their team. In November 2014, he received his first offer from Pitt. Out of his many accomplishments in high school, that offer stands apart from everything else. Josh’s family went to Pitt and he grew up a diehard fan, so to receive his first offer from the school he loved for years was surreal.
The remainder of his recruitment was rather short. While he loved visiting schools across the country and experiencing the different cultures and traditions, one university always stuck out in his mind. Even though he grew up a Pitt fan, his heart led him further west.
On August 14, 2015, Josh announced his commitment to the University of Notre Dame. Looking back on his decision, he says, “I could write a full 5 paragraph essay on why I chose to commit to Notre Dame.”
Notre Dame is indescribable. You have to visit and experience game day to truly understand how special South Bend is. As soon as Josh stepped foot on campus, he knew. He fell in love with everything that sets Notre Dame apart: abundant tradition, rigorous academics, beautiful campus and atmosphere, and of course, the football coaching staff. At Notre Dame he will learn under the best of the best, coach Harry Hiestand, who boasts years of experience coaching professional players.
Ever since Josh heard about the Army All American Game, he had it on his list of goals for high school. Because he was already committed, the only offer he wanted was to the Army game. His final high school football dream came true during senior year when he received the coveted invitation.
In the weeks leading up to the game, he spent hours upon hours in the weight room working on his craft. Josh knew he needed to improve his kick slide because he would be lining up against players much stronger and faster than he was accustomed to. When game time finally arrived, it felt like second nature.
During the game, Josh played against the number two player in the nation and felt very comfortable with whatever was thrown his way. After the final whistle blew and he boarded a plane departing San Antonio, Josh knew the past week was one he will remember for the rest of his life.
Josh’s career thus far has been very successful, and it is only going up from here. He could be cocky, but humility is an extremely important trait to him. His entire family humbles him, never letting the attention and recognition change the man they raised. But, what humbles him the most is the Word of God. Josh knows nothing would be possible without God, and He could take it all away in a split second.
“It’s a blessing everything he has given me,” Josh says.
Growing up, Josh wanted to live up to the legacy left by Patrick Kulger. He certainly accomplished that goal. Now, young children scurry to get a sight of Josh playing. He is a hometown hero that everyone looks forward to cheering on in college.
Josh has one message for his supporters, his hometown, and the Irish fans - we are going to win a national championship while I’m there.
Do not be surprised if you tune into the national championship game and see Josh Lugg continue to beat guys on the line while cementing himself as the best offensive lineman in college football.
Josh’s Advice: Sometimes you’re going to hit rock bottom really hard and think that it’s not possible to be what you dream of but put your faith in the Lord and you WILL be ok.