As we hit the summer portion of the offseason, Touchdown Alabama Magazine will be releasing a series of player spotlight pieces on starters and marquee contributors for the 2019 football season. In these articles, we will dive into the strengths and weaknesses of each player, provide expectations for 2019, give NFL Draft projections for those who are eligible, and conclude with how each one can impact the team.
The next defender and first freshman is Antonio Alfano.
Position: Defensive Line
Makes good use of his hand
Not afraid to take on blocks
Does not outrun tackles
Alfano’s huge high school senior season catapulted him to the top of the 2019 recruiting class as he was able to snatch the title of the nation’s top player. The New Jersey native had 70 tackles, 10 sacks and six forced fumbles during his last season at Colonial High School. Alabama was able to land an impressive defensive line class in the 2019 recruiting cycle, which was lead by Alfano.
There are a few of Alfano’s skills, he showcased during his senior season, that are expected to translate to the next level easily. The former 5-Star recruit has an explosive jump off the line and is not afraid to take on blocks to make tackles. He took good angles and rarely out ran plays during his senior season.
Alfano is also a scrappy defender on the rush and has quick closing speed.
Does not attack plays away from him
There is plenty of time for Alfano to grow as he is just a freshman and this is the time, where he is expected to hone in on his skills and make a ton of improvements. One of those areas is Alfano’s effort when attacking plays away from him.
If the Tide could get Alfano to consistently attack plays all over the field, they will have a complete edge rusher with an even bigger upside.
At 6-4 and 285 pounds, Alfano is expected to grow into one of the more athletic defensive linemen in college football and many expect him to make an immediate impact. It is not out of the question to predict that Alfano will make the freshman All-American team. He possesses all the tools to be the next great defender for the Crimson Tide and the door is wide open for a freshman defensive lineman to earn a spot in the Tide’s defensive line rotation.
NFL DRAFT PROJECTION
Touchdown Alabama Magazine has Antonio Alfano ranked as a 5-Star recruit in the Tide’s 2019 recruiting class. Alfano also garners a 2 diamond rating on TDA’s commitment list.
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Justin Smith is a Scouting/Recruiting analyst for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via @Jdsmith31Smith