President Praises Alabama Football (VIDEO)
Recent tradition is that many championship teams are invited to a ceremony at the White House. Alabama's football team was hosted by the President by virtue of the Crimson Tide's 14-0 record and 2009 national championship.
President Obama congratulated the entire Crimson Tide team, while praising their "winning attitude" and mentioning the individual efforts of Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, Butkus Award winner Rolando McClain and captains McClain, Javier Arenas and Mike Johnson.
"The trip has been great so far," Johnson said following the visit to the White House. "Meeting the President was an awesome experience. Javy (Arenas) and I got a chance to give him a jersey, helmet and football on behalf of our team. We are about to tour the U.S. Capitol and then see the monuments at National Mall before finishing the day at the Pentagon. Everyone is having a good time and learning a lot."
President Obama also praised Alabama's graduation rate, which is the second highest of any team in the top 25, and the Crimson Tide's 3,500 hours of community service.
"That's the kind of tone this team sets, both on and off the field," President Obama said.
The President had done his homework, noting that Alabama Coach Nick Saban had the wherewithal to have won two national championships at two schools in a six-year span. Saban directed the 2003 LSU Tigers to the national title.
Arenas presented President Obama with a No. 1 Alabama jersey with his named on the back while Johnson gave him an autographed football and a helmet with the No. 13, representing Alabama's 13th national championship.
The Crimson Tide will conclude its visit to Washington D.C. with a tour of the U.S. Capitol, a visit to the monuments at the National Mall and a trip to the Pentagon.
Watch full video here.
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