| NEWS Eleven former 5-star recruits have transferred within the last 365 days - 247Sports


Bama News

After a month of speculation and mystery, Alabama freshman defensive end Antonio Alfano on Wednesday evening entered his name in the transfer portal. The move hardly came as a surprise. Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban said of Alfano last month: “The guy basically quit.”

Alabama had already moved on.

But Alfano's decision is notable all the same. Alfano ranked as the No. 5 overall player in the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports Composite; The Top247 ranked Alfano as its No. 1 overall player. There is now an immense talent on the open market with a full range of eligibility remaining.

Thing is, Alfano isn’t even the most high-profile player to transfer in the portal era. His transfer does mark a bit of a milestone, however, given that Alfano is the 11th former five-star prospect to transfer within the last 356 days and the first one to do so during the regular season. But he’s not even the first five-star from the 2019 class to transfer. That distinction belongs to USC wide receiver Bru McCoy, No. 9 in 2019, who transferred twice (USC to Texas to USC) before settling in for his freshman season.

Let’s take a quick look at the five-stars on the move:

Antonio Alfano, DE, Alabama – No. 5 in 2019 class
Bru McCoy, WR, USC/Texas – No. 9 in 2019 class
Justin Fields, QB, Georgia – No. 2 in 2018 class
Eyabi Anoma, OLB, Alabama – No. 4 in 2018 class
Brenton Cox, OLB, Georgia – No. 23 in 2018 class
Jaelan Phillips, OLB, UCLA – No. 1 in 2017 class
Aubrey Solomon, DT, Michigan – No. 23 in 2017 class
Calvin Ashley, OT, Auburn/FAU – No. 26 in 2017 class
Mique Juarez, OLB, UCLA – No. 11 in 2016 class
Oluwole Betiku Jr., DE, USC – No. 15 in 2016 class
George Campbell, WR, Florida State – No. 19 in 2015 class

Each of those players has a different reason as to why they transferred. But the result is that highly-talented players are on the market quicker than ever.

Cox, Anoma and Alafano are each potentially disruptive edge rushers who transferred after playing a combined 17 games as freshmen. Fields didn’t start a game in his one-year Georgia tenure. He could’ve waited for Jake Fromm to leave for the NFL in a year. Instead, he’s mounting a Heisman campaign for Ohio State.

Betiku totaled two tackles in three seasons at USC. Since transferring to Illinois, he’s emerged as one of the nation’s top edge rushers with 10.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks. Even Campbell, long considered a bust after four injury-riddled seasons in Tallahassee, is averaging 25 yards a catch for West Virginia to go with his first three career touchdowns.

Five-star transfers are hardly a new phenomenon. Between the 2010 and 2018 classes, 247Sports labeled 19 passers with a five-star distinction. Of that group, 11 transferred at least once in their career.

But in this portal era, we’re seeing transfers move more often (and earlier) than ever. Alfano, who never played a snap for the Crimson Tide, is just the latest example. He’s the first five-star to transfer in the second year of the portal's existence. He certainly won’t be the last.
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