Antonio Alfano is one of the biggest freaks in the 2019 class across the defensive line.
At the New Jersey Opening regional camp last month, Alfano posted a 4.82-second 40-yard dash, had a 36.6-inch vertical jump, ran a 4.27-second shuttle and threw the power ball 46 feet. His SPARQ rating of 124.80 is the nation’s 12th-best score and the best score overall for someone over 250 pounds.
Of the nation’s best SPARQ ratings, only one high school football player weighing more than 250 pounds is in the top 75: Alfano.
He is committed to Alabama. Alfano, a 4-star defensive end from Colonia (N.J.) High School, committed to the Crimson Tide over Georgia and Penn State during a ceremony at his school. Alfano becomes the Tide’s 13th commitment in the 2019 class, and Alabama still has the nation’s No. 1 class.
One of the biggest reasons Alfano, the nation’s No. 5 strongside defensive end, chose the Tide is the team’s ability to churn out NFL draft prospects and compete for national championships.
“I think the advantage of going to a college that has been there is that they already know what it takes to get there every year,” Alfano told SEC Country. “There’s no beating around the bush. [Alabama] knows what it takes. If you do everything they tell you, you are going to become a monster.”
Alabama was chasing Penn State in the pursuit of Alfano until he visited Tuscaloosa last month. He stayed for two days and had the opportunity to hang out with Isaiah Buggs, Raekwon Davis and Anfernee Jennings. Seeing how the guys bonded was important to Alfano because playing on a team that is a close brotherhood was one of his top priorities.
Another big question Alfano had heading into that trip last month was just how deep the Tide’s depth chart is on the defensive line. The coaching staff reminded him that the Tide failed to sign a true defensive end in the 2018 class. Tevita Musika is strictly a nose guard, and Stephon Wynn and Christian Barmore are defensive tackles. Isaiah Buggs and Johnny Dwight will exhaust their eligibility after this season, and Raekwon Davis is a likely candidate to declare early for the NFL draft.
In 2019, the Tide will have LaBryan Ray, Quinnen Williams, Phidarian Mathis, Wynn, Barmore and Musika on the defensive line plus the recruits they sign in this class, so the opportunity to make an early impact is available for a Class of 2019 recruit such as Alfano.
And if what the coaching staff told him is true, then Alfano should be able to see the field immediately.
“They told me that I am the No. 1-ranked kid on their recruiting board,” Alfano said. “I didn’t know that. They really want me down there. They think I could come in as a freshman and have the chance to start. They talked a lot about the depth chart. They really need defensive linemen.”
The 6-foot-4, 285-pound prospect has said that once he committed, his recruitment will be over. The plan is to just take one official visit to Alabama this fall and no additional visits elsewhere.
Alfano is locked in with the Tide and a giant piece of Alabama’s 2019 class is now on board.