The defensive star of Alabama’s 2019 recruiting class, defensive lineman Antonio Alfano, has entered the transfer portal, according to his father Frankie Alfano’s Twitter account. UA officials could not confirm Alfano’s stage in the process of entering the portal.

The thread outlines a trying time for the Alfano family of late, as Antonio’s grandmother has recently become ill. Frankie Alfano said Antonio has not attended classes or been in practice since her illness began, but he still believes Alabama to be the best place for Antonio.

Antonio Alfano was rated as a top five player in the nation by the 247 Sports Composite, both the top player at his position in the nation and the top player at any position in the state of New Jersey.

UA coach Nick Saban said after the New Mexico State game, in response to Alfano’s absence from practice throughout the week and the game, that he was, “going through some discipline things with me.”

Saban elaborated on the situation Wednesday and offered a bleak outlook.

“He’s kind of disappeared a little bit,” Saban said. “I talked to our team today about the fact that, you know, people makes mistakes. We all make mistakes: I make mistakes, probably everyone in this room makes mistakes, we makes mistakes as parents, we make mistakes as coaches, we makes mistakes in just about everything we do. But I think you compound the problem when you don’t confront the mistakes you make and you create greater consequences for yourself because of the choices and decisions you make after you make a mistake.

“Hopefully this will be a learning experience for all the guys on our team.”

The hope was that Alfano could soon boost the depth of a defensive line that could use some extra bodies, considering its thin rotation to start the season. Alfano still has the option to exit the transfer portal, thus could still do so for the Crimson Tide in 2019.