One of Alabama’s highly prized freshmen is no longer with the team and has “basically quit,” according to Coach Nick Saban.

Antonio Alfano, a freshman defensive lineman who was a five-star recruit, has been away from the team and has not been attending classes.

“I just know the guy basically quit,” Saban told reporters Wednesday, via AL.com. “Quit going to class, quit coming here. We tried to encourage him. We tried to help him. We tried to set up counseling sessions with him to help him every way that we could. All of those things are still available to him if he wants them.

“But he didn’t respond to any of the things, so until he responds, you just have to assume the guy quit.”

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Alfano’s father, Frank, wrote in several tweets Friday that his son was in the NCAA’s transfer portal, but Saban said he was unaware of that and as of Wednesday, AL.com reported, he was not. “I don’t really know much about that,” Saban said.

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Alfano had been suspended; on Sept. 11, Saban told reporters that he had “kind of disappeared a little bit.

“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,” Saban said. “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. So hopefully this will be a learning experience for all the guys on our team.”

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Alfano’s father wrote that “Antonio’s grandmother recently fell very ill and is still fighting on life support. He is very close with her. Since this illness took effect, Antonio has taken it very hard. He has not attended classes and practices.”

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He went on to say that Antonio “still can decide to remain at the University of Alabama. My opinion is that Antonio should stay at the University of Alabama. However he’s an adult and it’s his decision. Antonio knows that his family has & will always be there for him.”

Alfano, a 6-foot-4, 285-pound player from Colonia, N.J., showed great potential, according to a 247Sports scouting report. “Thick but lean athlete with very little body fat. Carries 275 pounds like it’s 230. Potential to be a very athletic-framed 300-pounder on the next level. Plays with good leverage with an explosive first step. Has violent hands and aggressive mentality. Has the temperament you want on the defensive line. Highly competitive. Physical tackler through the ball carrier. Possesses elite edge athleticism and freakish combine testing numbers. Also has versatility and strength to play inside. Sheds blocks and attacks double teams effectively. Pursuit speed is rare but effort needs to be more consistent on plays away from him.”

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The site ranked him the fifth overall prospect among 2019 recruits.

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