A battle with epilepsy has kept highly touted defensive end Antonio Alfano from being cleared to practice with the Colorado football team.
Earlier this week, CU head coach Karl Dorrell told media, “We don’t quite have a handle on his medical situation well enough to be released to practice and to compete right now.”
HIPAA laws have prevented CU from giving information on Alfano’s health, but Alfano reached out to BuffZone to provide clarity to his situation.
“My seizures are not under control right now, so I’m working with multiple doctors to figure out what is causing them,” he said in a message to BuffZone. “I cannot practice or compete until I’m seizure free.”
Rated the No. 1 recruit in the country for the 2019 class by 247Sports.com, Alfano, from Rahway, N.J., signed with Alabama and enrolled there in January of 2019.
After going through the 2019 spring semester and fall camp with the Crimson Tide, he left the team and entered the NCAA transfer portal about a year ago. Former CU head coach Mel Tucker then recruited Alfano, who announced his decision last November to come to CU.
Last winter, Alfano, a redshirt freshman, told BuffZone that while he was at Alabama, his grandmother, Victoria Richardson, had a stroke and went into a coma. Alfano was very close with his grandmother and it became difficult to focus on football because of her health. Richardson died Nov. 29 and Alfano came to CU looking to play in her honor.
Less than six weeks after Alfano’s arrival in Boulder, however, Tucker bolted for Michigan State and defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh left for Tennessee. Shortly after Dorrell was hired on Feb. 23, Alfano was “suspended indefinitely for violation of team rules.” His battle with epilepsy also prevented him from completing the spring semester academically.
In August, Dorrell told BuffZone that Alfano had been reinstated after doing well in summer classes and taking care of what was required to return to the team.
“I’m going to give him credit,” Dorrell said in August, “because he buckled down and said, ‘I want to be a football player and I want to be at the University of Colorado. What do I need to do, coach?’ So, I mapped it out for him and he was able to come through with all of it.”
At this time, however, Alfano’s seizures are preventing him from participating with the Buffs.
In addition, CU and Alfano are still waiting to hear back from the NCAA on a transfer waiver that would allow him to compete this year if he’s cleared medically.
CU is scheduled to open its seven-game season Nov. 7 against UCLA at Folsom Field.