Nick Saban: 5-star freshman DT who hasn't played in 2019 has 'disappeared a little bit'

Yahoo Sports
Alabama DT <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/299013/" data-ylk="slk:Antonio Alfano">Antonio Alfano</a> hasn't seen the field in either of Alabama's two games in 2019. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Alabama DT Antonio Alfano hasn't seen the field in either of Alabama's two games in 2019. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Freshman defensive tackle Antonio Alfano has not played for Alabama in 2019. And it seems that he won’t be seeing the field anytime soon.

Alabama coach Nick Saban said Alfano has “kind of disappeared a little bit” during his Wednesday news conference. Per Rivals’ Bama Insider, Alfano has not been seen on the field during the portion of practices open to the media over the last two weeks. Saban said after Saturday’s win over New Mexico State that Alfano was absent because of disciplinary reasons.

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“He’s kind of disappeared a little bit,” Saban said Wednesday. “I talked to our team today about the fact that — people make mistakes. We all make mistakes. I make mistakes, probably everybody in this room makes mistakes. We make mistakes as parents. We make mistakes as coaches. We make mistakes in just about everything that we do.

“But I think you compound the problem when you don’t confront the mistakes that you make and you create greater consequences for yourself because of the choices and decisions that you make after you make a mistake. And so hopefully this will be a learning experience for all the guys in our team.”

Alfano was the top DT in 2019 class

Alfano was one of the top recruits in the entire class of 2019. The New Jersey native was ranked as the No. 1 defensive tackle in the class and the No. 5 overall recruit. He was the No. 2 player in Alabama’s class behind running back Trey Sanders, the No. 3 player overall in Rivals rankings.

If Alfano ends up missing significant time, Alabama will have received little to no production from two of the top five recruits in the country in 2019. Sanders is set to reportedly miss the entire season because of a foot injury he suffered in preseason practice.

Not many programs can thrive if it signs two of the five best players in the country and doesn’t get much immediate impact from them. Heck, not many programs can even sign two of the five best players in the country in the same recruiting class to begin with. But this is Saban’s Alabama we’re talking about.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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