Alabama Football adds offensive lineman Geno VanDeMark

April 9, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer coaches his team during
April 9, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer coaches his team during / Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA

Alabama Football may have added the final piece of its 2024 roster on Saturday morning with the commitment of transfer portal offensive lineman Geno VanDeMark. The former Michigan State Spartan will have two years of eligibility in Tuscaloosa, and provides a much-needed veteran presence on the Bama offensive line.

VanDeMark started eight career games for Michigan State, primarily playing guard. He also possesses the ability to play center, which makes him a very valuable piece. Alabama had very little proven depth behind projected starting center Parker Brailsford, and was probably going to have to rely on a freshman like Roq Montgomery or Joseph Ionata at the backup spot. In theory, VanDeMark slots in as a reliable reserve center. 

Geno VanDeMark will also provide depth at his most natural position. Bama has an imposing guard duo in Tyler Booker and Jaeden Roberts, but, once again, has no proven backups. 

In fact, Alabama had 13 scholarship offensive linemen prior to the addition of VanDeMark, and only the first five had any substantial playing experience.

The Tide figures to have a relatively experienced starting five of sophomore Kadyn Proctor, junior Tyler Booker, redshirt sophomore Parker Brailsford, redshirt junior Jaeden Roberts, and redshirt sophomore Elijah Pritchett (L-R). This is a good group on paper, and all except Pritchett have extensive starting experience.

However, the issue that this offensive line was facing went beyond the starting unit. All eight of Bama’s scholarship reserve offensive linemen were either true freshmen or redshirt freshmen, meaning the Tide had zero experienced backups up front.

Geno VanDeMark changes that instantly. His experience is critical, but his versatility is the most important factor. His ability to play both guard and center, filling multiple areas of need for the Crimson Tide, makes him far more valuable than one would assume of a reserve transfer addition.

After a brief lull, Bama has made lots of noise in the transfer portal as of late. It has seemingly met all of its pressing roster needs at this point. The Tide is still in play for South Alabama linebacker Khalil Jacobs, but he seems to be the last player the staff is pursuing this offseason.