The Trojans arrived in Washington on Monday night and the players had an opportunity to tour some of the local monuments.
"It was cool, we had a chance to see the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Vietnam and Korean War monuments," said sophomore offensive tackle Kyle Williams. "The only hard part was getting up so early this morning with the time difference, some of us were really struggling with that. This morning we got to take a little tour of the White House before the ceremony. We saw the Blue Room, we walked through the front entrance. Security was tight though so we didn't get to take the whole tour."
During the brief ceremony President Bush gave praise to each of the teams for their accomplishments. Bush said he heard there was a player named Reggie Bush on the Trojan team who was called "the President". He asked for Reggie to step forward and said "You must feel pretty comfortable here at the White House". President Bush then said there had been a lot of discussion about which team was better, USC or LSU, and he added "the South Lawn is pretty big" in reference to the teams playing a game right there.
"We're trying to get a little game going with the LSU guys," said senior defensive lineman Shaun Cody. "There hasn't been any trash talk between the two teams, it's all good. It's a fun time. It's beautiful being here at the White House."
Matt Leinart presented a national championship ring to the President on behalf of the Trojans (LSU gave him a jersey) while the USC womens volleyball team gave him an SC volleyball.
After the ceremony the teams posed for pictures with President Bush and a reception was then held on the South Lawn despite the fact that the host had to leave.
"When we were at the reception we could see the President flying off in his helicopter," said Williams. "He's got things to do."
Williams, the only player on the Trojan roster who played high school football in Texas, wore a special Texas tie to the event in the hopes that it would get noticed by the President (well known for his support of his home state).
"It has a Texas flag, the state seal, the "Don't mess with Texas" slogan, the Dallas skyline," said Williams. "I was in the back as he was walking out so I couldnt get his attention."
The Trojans will be visiting the area again in August when they play Virginia Tech at FedEx Field and Pete Carroll made sure to point out to his team that the next time they come to this city it will be a business trip.
The team returns to Los Angeles tonight so that the players can attend the NFL Pro Day on Wednesday to support their former teammates as they go through testing for NFL scouts.
Rodney Reed from LSU, President George Bush and Matt Leinart (AP photo, Pablo Martinez Monsivias)
President Bush receives USC ring from Leinart (AP photo, Charles Dharapak)