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Trump hails championship Alabama football team

April 10, 2018

President Donald Trump, right, holds up a jersey he was presented with by Alabama team captains Bradley Bozeman, left, and Rashaan Evans, center, during an event for the 2017 NCAA National Champion University of Alabama football team on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump hailed the University of Alabama football team’s “win for the ages” in their latest championship season.

Trump hosted Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban and his players at the White House on Tuesday to honor their fifth national title in nine years.

The president attended the championship game in Atlanta, in which Alabama staged a second-half comeback to defeat Georgia 26-23 in overtime. Trump said backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s winning touchdown pass in overtime to fellow freshman DeVonta Smith after a sack “will go down as one of the most exciting finishes in college football history — of any sport.”

Trump watched the Jan. 8 game from a private box overlooking the Alabama sideline. The president left the stadium during halftime as Georgia led Alabama 13-0.

Trump said Alabama’s triumph was “one of the greatest victories ever.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former Alabama senator, was among those on the South Lawn for the team visit.

Trump praised Saban’s “Process” for success and said the coach could “make a lot of money” if he were able to sell the formula.

“In the national championship game, you stuck to ‘The Process,’ even when it was looking pretty tough,” the president said. “I was watching. I said, ‘Coach, not looking too good.’ Down 13-to-nothing at halftime to a great Georgia team, these champions fought back as they did all season long. And they kept fighting and fighting.”

Trump also singled out individual players, including center Bradley Bozeman, who proposed to his girlfriend on the field after the game. Trump asked: “She’s still with you?”

“She is. Luckily,” Bozeman responded.

Saban talked about what the White House visit meant to the team.

“You know, not many people get invited to the White House, so not many people get invited to see the President and meet the President,” he said. “So this is a special day for our team. A team that is being honored here because of their achievements in terms of winning the college football national championship, which makes me very proud.”

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