December 8, 2011

Versatility key for Tide commit

MONTGOMERY | Caleb Gulledge may have waited until his senior year to test the waters at offensive tackle, but the 6-foot-5, 285-pounder out of Prattville is swimming just fine with the big hogs on the line.

Tanner coach Laron White, who is coaching the offensive line this week at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game, said Gulledge's innate talent has blown him away.

"He's (got) the best footwork out of anyone," White said. "He's a great player. It seems like it's coming natural to him. Even though he's played only one year on the offensive line, it still comes natural. I told him he should think about playing it at the next level. He has such good footwork and hand movement."

White has played Gulledge at right tackle, taking advantage of his range and skill in the power-running game.

"He's aggressive, which helps out," White said. "It's really surprising, having played just one year, how good his technique is and how well he moves. He understands all the angles and everything. It's surprising."

Gulledge has held his own at the Faulkner University campus in Montgomery, the practice home for the Alabama squad. He said that going up against University of Alabama commitment Ryan Anderson has been fun, adding that the defensive lineman/linebacker from Daphne reminds him of a young Courtney Upshaw.

"We're having good practices. We just have to stay focused and come together as a team and have that trust factor and be confident in each other," Gulledge said.

Gulledge, who said he's still "solid" in his commitment to Alabama, was thrust onto the offensive line this year after spending his entire high school career on the other side of the ball. While he's done well there, he said coaches for the Crimmson Tide still like him on defense at the next level.

"It's gone well at tackle this year but still all of the Bama coaches are talking about me playing at defensive end or defensive tackle," Gulledge said. "I just look forward to getting up there and playing ball."

Gulledge said he was planning on enrolling at UA early, but a class mix-up will put him on track for graduation in May.

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