TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The football roster continues to shrink at Alabama. Days after learning that former four-star defensive lineman Darius Paige had been medically disqualified and would no longer be a part of the team, coach Nick Saban announced Sunday that Caleb Gulledge, a redshirt freshman on the offensive line, was disqualified by the medical staff as well.
Gulledge, a former three-star recruit out of Prattville, Ala., was poised to add depth to an offensive front that is replacing three of its starters from a season ago. The 6-foot-4, 286-pound athlete was disqualified for "a chronic medical issue," according to Saban, who did not disclose the specific ailment but noted that he will remain on campus under scholarship.
"He did a good job for us," Saban said. "He's going to be in school here. He's got a chance to graduate and we're going to be very supportive of him."
Creating depth on the line had been a focal point of spring practice, and the loss of Gulledge doesn't help in that respect. Offensive line coach Mario Cristobal will have to turn to newcomers Grant Hill, Bradley Bozeman, Brandon Hill and junior college transfer Leon Brown to develop quickly and provide options off the bench.
Saban announced Friday that Paige would no longer be with the team, again failing to specify the exact condition to prompt such a drastic move. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act -- better known as by their acronyms HIPAA and FERPA -- prohibit college coaches from disclosing a student-athlete's medical conditions.
Paige's disqualification from competition dropped the Tide's scholarship numbers to one under the NCAA limit, which allowed the staff to remove Bozeman's grayshirt. The former four-star prospect delayed his enrollment at Alabama while he recovered from an ACL tear he suffered his senior year in high school.
Saban has been widely criticized for his roster management in the past, signing more players than the 85-scholarship limit allows and using methods such as delayed enrollment to make the numbers work. This time, though, Saban made it clear that Paige's disqualification was not a reaction to the team's scholarship numbers.
"Our numbers were where they needed to be, relative to initials and 85 and all of that," Saban told reporters on Friday. "When Darius didn't pass the physical and got medically disqualified, that gave us an extra spot."