Alabama Football: Antonio Alfano becoming a disappearing act

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Alabama football may or may not have lost its top rated recruit in the 2019 signing class, 5-Star defensive end, Antonio Alfano.

Many Alabama football fans who raised kids in the 1990’s or later are familiar with a game called Where’s Waldo? The white and red-striped clothed character was obscurely placed with hundreds of other characters in delicate drawings. For children and the parents helping them, Waldo was damn hard to find.

Antonio Alfano, Crimson Tide true freshman and former phenom recruit, has sort of become Waldo. The exact whereabouts of Alfano are not publicly known. Unlike the famous Waldo, children’s book character, it appears the search for Alfano is limited.

On Wednesday evening, Nick Saban was asked about Alfano. It was certainly a fair question. The young man has not played in a game this season. He has reportedly missed several practices, including the last three Alabama football practices.

Saban offered few new specifics about Alfano.

"He’s kind of disappeared a little bit."

Alabama football fans are perplexed. So for, there is no sign Alfano will enter the transfer portal. There are also no signs he will reappear soon. Not to quibble with the greatest college football coach of all-time but how can a person disappear “a little bit.” A person has either disappeared or hasn’t – it is not a matter of degree.

What others think they know

It has been widely reported a serious, perhaps life-threatening illness for Alfano’s grandmother had caused him to miss practices. A few days ago Nick Saban said there were some disciplinary issues, possibly related to academics.

It is the opinion of some Alabama football insiders that Alfano was suspended over academic failures. He was given a road map of duties to solve his problems and work his way back on the team. There are rumors Alfano is not progressing and perhaps not buying in on the effort required to work his way back.

To the extent these rumors are true and become irreversible, what initially looks like a disappearing act may actually be or become a banishment by Saban. Some Alabama football fans are more than ready for the Crimson Tide head coach to dismiss Alfano from the team permanently.

Saban added more insight on Wednesday.

"We all mistakes… 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."

Next. Tracking the progress on the Tide program having the SEC's two winningest coaches. dark

What a shame it would be for a young man of considerable talent to waste his opportunity. It happens too frequently in college football. It seems to be happening more often in Tuscaloosa than ever before.