Gulledge’s name was not listed on the 105-man roster released Saturday.
“He was medically disqualified after spring practice,” Saban said. “It’s been a long time. I just kind of forgot about it. Because of chronic medical issue. He did a very good job for us and he’s going to be in school here. He’s doing well. He’s got a chance to graduate. We’re going to be very supportive in terms of helping him physically and emotionally to be able to continue to be successful.”
Gulledge was a three-year starter at Prattville High. He earned an offer from Alabama during his junior year and chose the Crimson Tide over Florida State, Kentucky and Wake Forest.
Linebacker Trey DePriest had offseason surgery to repair a broken foot that held him out of spring practice, but the junior said he feels better than ever. DePriest added he began to feel 100 percent by mid-July. He lost 10 pounds and said it will help him move better when facing up-tempo teams.
“I mean, I believe so,” DePriest said. “I feel faster. I can run a little bit more and sustain.”
DePriest mentioned that the team continues to place high importance on stopping fast-paced offenses.
“Seven out of the 12 teams that we’re going to play do hurry-up, so it’s been a big a big emphasis,” he said. “We do that every day, anyway, because you don’t know when you’re going to face it.”
McCarron the leader
One of the more important keys to Alabama’s 2013 success will be the leadership of quarterback AJ McCarron. In his first two seasons as the starter, McCarron had veteran offensive linemen to rely on to be the vocal leaders of the team. This season, he’ll be looked at as the main guy.
McCarron said his leadership is one of his main focuses during preseason practice.
“Being positive with guys when I need to be positive and also knowing when to chew guys out,” McCarron said. “The only time I ever really get on anybody is when I know they know what to do.”
McCarron is also tasked with helping groom his replacement for the 2014 season. Alabama has plenty of quarterbacks on the roster, but none with any meaningful game experience. McCarron said he is finding a balance between helping the younger quarterbacks while remaining focused on his final year.
“I’m helping them as much as I can,” McCarron said. “I don’t know what all I can do. I’m here for them, they know that. They can come ask me anything. At the same time, I have this season to worry about. I can’t worry about everybody else right now. I’m trying to focus on this year, my job and being the leader of the offense. But at the same time, they know that if they ever need anything or need any help off the field, I’m here for them.”
Columnist Joe Medley contributed to this report.