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Former top recruit Kendall Sheffield transferring from Alabama

Redshirt freshman cornerback Kendall Sheffield is transferring from Alabama.

Sheffield, a five-star prospect in the class of 2015, became a topic of conversation early in the week after he did not attend Crimson Tide practices Monday and Tuesday.

A Sheffield family member told ESPN that Sheffield was informed on Wednesday by Alabama football coach Nick Saban that he would receive his release from the school. The release has the stipulation that Sheffield cannot transfer to another SEC school.

Sheffield, the nation's No. 3-ranked cornerback in 2015, has returned to his family home in the Houston area. He was running second team at cornerback prior to his decision to transfer.

Sheffield's departure comes on the heels of another high-profile transfer from the Tide -- fellow Texas native and cornerback Maurice Smith. Smith followed former Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart to Georgia.

Sheffield becomes the fourth member of the Crimson Tide's No. 1-ranked class of 2015 to transfer since the end of last season, following Daylon Charlot, Adonis Thomas and Christian Bell.

Once Sheffield receives the paperwork from Alabama finalizing his release, he will begin the process of talking to programs. Sheffield selected Alabama over Texas A&M, Florida State and USC out of high school.