Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Crimson Countdown: Caleb Gulledge
By Alex Scarborough
During the summer, TideNation will analyze each of the scholarship players on the Alabama roster -- excluding the Tide's 2013 recruiting class -- in our Crimson Countdown series. Starting with No. 1 Dee Hart, we will go through the roster numerically, finishing with No. 99 Brandon Ivory.
From No. 1 Dee Hart to No. 99 Brandon Ivory, TideNation is evaluating the Alabama roster numerically. View the entire Crimson Countdown series.
Expectations for 2013: After redshirting his first year on campus, Gulledge looks to add depth to an offensive line that is replacing three starters. The former three-star prospect from Prattville, Ala., added 6 pounds to his 6-foot-4 frame while on the scout team and could add a few more pounds during summer workouts to get to the size necessary to play either guard or tackle moving forward.
Best-case scenario: It's not likely Gulledge will see the field for meaningful snaps this season, but that outlook could change after this season, when starting right guard Anthony Steen graduates and starting left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio is faced with the decision of whether to stay in school or enter the NFL draft early as a likely high first-round pick. Because of his ability to play multiple positions, Gulledge will be well suited to create an opportunity for himself at either spot.
Worst-case scenario: If Gulledge doesn't make headway this season, he could be doomed to a career on the bench. Such is the case with most young offensive linemen at Alabama because of the constant influx of talent. The competition, it seems, gets more and more intense each year. Just look at the two potentially vacant spots next season: Brandon Greene, Leon Brown and Brandon Hill all will compete at tackle, and incoming freshman Grant Hill, Isaac Luatua and Alphonse Taylor will all battle it out at guard.
Future impact: And that's just the players already on the roster. Alabama has commitments from three offensive linemen in the 2014 class -- No. 7 guard Viane Talamaivao, No. 24 guard Montel McBride, No. 10 center J.C. Hassenauer and junior college tackle Dominick Jackson. The big fish, however, is No. 1-rated offensive tackle Cameron Robinson, who will decide between Alabama and LSU at the Under Armour All America Game in January.