Nick Saban and the 2017 Alabama football team arrived at the White House on Tuesday afternoon to receive recognition from President Donald Trump.
The Crimson Tide squad, which beat Georgia 26-23 to win its second national championship in three seasons, made the decision to attend the ceremony as a team.
“It’s an incredible honor for us to be invited to the White House,” Alabama running back Damien Harris said on Monday, per SEC Country’s Marq Burnett. “It’s something that comes with being national champions, so we’re definitely thankful for the opportunity. There’s a lot of young guys that haven’t been able to make that trip yet. We’re glad we’ve got guys that can go for the first time and experience it the way that we did when we were young. Obviously all the older guys have been there, and we’re looking forward to going back again.”
You can watch the comments and presentation from President Trump here, courtesy of a live stream from WhiteHouse.gov:
This latest victory marks Saban’s fifth national title with Alabama and sixth as a college football coach. That’s quite a few opportunities to meet the president. He has visited Washington D.C. with a national title-winning team during the George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Trump administrations.
With a talented team headed by returning quarterbacks Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa set to take the field in the fall, Saban should be primed to contend for yet another national championship. The Crimson Tide will open the 2018 season against Louisville at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla., on Sept. 1. Alabama will play Arkansas St. at Bryant-Denny Stadium in the home opener on Sept. 8 before moving into conference play with a road trip to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss., to take on Ole Miss on Sept. 15.