Alabama's Seth McLaughlin and Jake Pope enter the NCAA transfer portal. Special photo.

Two former Buford High School football players entered the NCAA transfer portal looking to leave Alabama for a new college and team.

Seth McLaughlin, a center at Alabama, entered the transfer portal last Wednesday and on Saturday, he announced that he has committed to play for Ohio State. McLaughlin will have one year of eligibility remaining.

McLaughlin, a 2020 graduate of Buford, had three starts at center in 2021. The following season in 2022, he was Alabama’s starting center in eight games. In the 2023 season, McLaughlin was the starter in all 14 games for the Crimson Tide.

Although McLaughlin had a few costly bad snaps in the 2023 season, he is still considered a capable center. He has done an excellent job in pass protection and blocking. According to Pro Football Focus, McLaughlin has been credited with allowing just one sack during the last three seasons total.

While at Buford, McLaughlin was considered a four-star prospect and contributed to two of Buford’s state championship teams (2019 and 2020).

Alabama defensive back Jake Pope entered the transfer portal as reported by On3. Pope did not see any playing time in 2022. The redshirt freshman played in 12 games in 2023 on special teams or as a backup safety.

Pope was a four-star prospect in the Class of 2022 by, 247Sports, On3 and PrepStar. He was ranked as ESPN’s No. 26 safety and No. 34 player from the state and the No. 30 safety in the nation by 247Sports, to name a few. Pope was part of three championship teams (2019, 2020 and 2021) while at Buford.

Pope has yet to make an announcement regarding his next move.

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