Making the Case: Antonio Alfano
With his commitment coming at 3 p.m. EDT Friday, experts from around the Rivals.com network give their take on where Rivals250 defensive lineman Antonio Alfano will end up. The three schools with the best chances are Alabama, Georgia and Penn State.
After spending his freshman and sophomore seasons at Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic and his junior season at Rahway, N.J., Alfano is knocking out his commitment prior to his senior season at Colonia, N.J. All three finalists - Alabama, Georgia and Penn State - hosted Alfano within the last month and a half, and he seemed to really enjoy his time on campus and being with the coaches. With Alfano ready to announce his decision, we ask reporters that cover each team and National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell their thoughts about where Alfano will end up.
“Antonio Alfano has been recruited by Alabama for more than a year. The coaches have changed a little as a new position coach and area recruiter are now in place for the Crimson Tide. Alabama defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski is known as one of the premier position coaches in the country. His reputation for developing elite defensive linemen is a strong selling point to Alfano. The elite recruit from New Jersey also has a good relationship with former Penn State assistant coach Josh Gattis, who is now in Tuscaloosa. Alabama is pressing hard for several defensive linemen in this class. Alfano is one of the Tide’s key targets. Alabama’s track record of producing NFL talent at the position - including guys like Marcel Dareus, Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Dalvin Tomlinson, A’Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed - should help the Crimson Tide haul in another top player.” – Andrew Bone, BamaInsider.com
“If a clear path to playing time is what Alfano is most in the market for, Georgia makes as much or more sense than anyone else in his top three. At 6-foot-4, 285 pounds, he's got the ideal size for the middle of Georgia's 3-4 alignment, and the last two classes for the Bulldogs have been lacking in depth. With the Bulldogs seeking out transfers, JUCO prospects and even project players at the defensive tackle spot, a young, hungry lineman with the chops to contribute right out of the gate would be a more-than-welcome addition and should find favor with Tray Scott and Kirby Smart quickly. Defensive line is the No. 1 need for the Bulldogs in this class, and a player of Alfano's caliber could be just what the doctor ordered.” – Jake Reuse, UGASports.com
“Penn State appeared to be the favorite with Alfano throughout 2017, but things changed toward the end of last season, as James Franklin and his staff cooled on him due to off-the-field concerns. In April, he visited Penn State twice in a little over two weeks, but once it became clear that Franklin wanted to wait a bit longer before accepting a commitment, Alfano turned to Alabama and Georgia, both of which also earned visits in April. I expect him to commit to Alabama.” – Ryan Snyder, BlueWhiteIllustrated.com
“Alabama is my pick for Alfano, although he’s done a good job keeping things close to the vest. He’s got a very good relationship with the coaches and I think he’s allured by the chance to win a national title and play at the highest level.” – Mike Farrell, Rivals.com National Recruiting Director