Alabama coach Kalen DeBoer addresses Parker Brailsford absence: ‘It’s not a transfer thing’

Alabama center Parker Brailsford has not been practicing with the team recently, but he is still with the Crimson Tide and is not expected to transfer, according to coach Kalen DeBoer. Brailsford, a Washington transfer, is competing for the starting center position but has been absent for a little over a week.

On Saturday, DeBoer provided an official update on Brailsford’s status ahead of the team’s spring game on April 13.

“Parker’s just going through some non-football related things and he’s going to be with us,” DeBoer said. “He’s working out with our strength staff and has done a great job there. He hasn’t done anything wrong. It’s nothing like that. He’s working hard. He’s gonna be ready to go sooner than later. It’s not a transfer thing or anything like that.”

Brailsford’s recent absence has increased the workload for redshirt junior James Brockermeyer with the starting group. Brockermeyer served as a reserve center last year, mainly as the No. 3 option behind Seth McLaughlin and Darrian Dalcourt. He gained close to 10 pounds during the offseason and is maximizing his opportunity thus far in spring practice. He now stands around 295 pounds.

“I would say this offseason I’ve gotten bigger and stronger — that’s always the goal in the offseason, especially for me,” Brockermeyer said. “Just continue to get bigger and stronger is always a big part of an O-lineman, obviously. And then being able to pick up the system is always super important. When you know what to do at a high level, you’re able to play faster, make the calls and you can bring other guys with you, as well.”

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While Brailsford will be with the team in the long-term, his status for A-Day next Saturday is up in the air. Offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic stated early in spring practice that he requires 8-10 players to be able to snap at any moment. Next Saturday will provide more clarity about who will provide depth at the center position.

Brailsford’s status update wasn’t the only notable news out of the offensive line. After rumors circulated out of Alabama’s team scrimmage that Jaeden Roberts suffered a lower leg injury and left on crutches, DeBoer confirmed that fact on Saturday but stated that the injury was not serious.

“Jaeden’s gonna be fine,” DeBoer said. “He might be down for a little bit here but will be fine. We’ll do some follow-up evaluations, but early reports feel like it will be nothing major.”

The offensive line is one of the biggest positions of interest entering the spring game and the looming spring transfer portal window beginning on April 16. Alabama’s spring game is set for 3 p.m. CT on April 13 on ESPN.

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(Photo:  Gary Cosby Jr. / Tuscaloosa News / USA Today Network)

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