Alabama defensive lineman Antonio Alfano, the No. 5 overall player in the Class of 2019 and top-ranked player in the Crimson Tide's most recent recruiting class, went missing from the program last week after reportedly entering the transfer portal to be closer to his sick grandmother. That still appears to be the case, according to coach Nick Saban.

"Well, I don't really know much about that. I just know that the guy basically quit," Saban said on Wednesday, according to 247Sports. "He quit going to class, he quit coming here. We tried to encourage him, we tried to help him. We had tried to set up counseling sessions with him to help him every way we could. And all those things are still available to him if he wants them, but he didn't respond to any of the things, so until he responds, you just have to assume the guy quit."

What's even more bizarre about the situation is that, while missing from class and practice, Alfano isn't actually in the transfer portal yet, according to the report.

That's a direct contradiction to what his father, Frankie-Hilda Alfano, wrote on Twitter last week when news of his son's absence from the team first broke.

"The University of Alabama has been extremely supportive and I couldn't ask for better support from them," Frankie-Hilda Alfano wrote. "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. 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."

The 6-foot-4, 285-pounder from Colonia, New Jersey, could have made a big impact on a Crimson Tide defense that has some holes to fill after the foot injury to starting defensive end LaBryan Ray. Freshman Justin Eboigbe will likely step in for Ray, which means that four freshman should be starting in Alabama's front seven this weekend vs. Southern Miss. Considering the youth and inexperience up front, Alfano would have had a strong shot at earning playing time just one month into his college career.

Alfano's potential has never been in question. Brian Dohn, national recruiting analyst for 247Sports, wrote this about Alfano coming out of high school.

"Potential to be a very athletic-framed 300-pounder on the next level. Plays with good leverage with an explosive first step. Has violent hands and aggressive mentality. Has the temperament you want on the defensive line. Highly competitive. Physical tackler through the ball carrier. Possesses elite edge athleticism and freakish combine testing numbers. Also has versatility and strength to play inside. Sheds blocks and attacks double teams effectively. Pursuit speed is rare but effort needs to be more consistent on plays away from him. Upper tier Power 5 multi-year starter with first- or second-round potential."