Alabama's Nick Saban says top recruit has 'basically quit'

Alabama head coach Nick Saban said Wednesday a defensive lineman recruit “basically quit.”

Saban said Antonio Alfano stopped going to class and the football building. Saban added he tried to set up counseling for Alfano and it remains available, but “until he responds you just have to assume the guy quit.”

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Frankie Alfano, Antonio’s father, said in a series of tweets last week that his son’s grandmother was “very ill and is still fighting on life support.” He said his son has not attended classes or practices.

He added: "The University of Alabama has been extremely supportive and I couldn't ask for better support from them.

"Yesterday, Antonio asked to be placed in the transfer portal to see what his options are.

"Although he's in the transfer portal, he still can decide to remain at the University of Alabama.

 Antonio Alfano #56 of the Alabama Crimson Tide in action during the team's A-Day Spring Game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on April 13, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

 Antonio Alfano #56 of the Alabama Crimson Tide in action during the team's A-Day Spring Game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on April 13, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

"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".

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Alfano, a freshman from New Jersey, was rated as the nation’s No. 5 overall recruit and the best defensive end, according to 24/7 Sports. Alfano is listed as 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds.

Frankie Alfano said his son asked to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal.

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Saban said he doesn’t “really know much about that.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.