Coach Dabo Swinney and members of the Clemson Tigers football team visited the White House last Monday to be recognized for their victory in January’s national championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide.
During a team tour of the White House, a small group of players, along with Swinney, university president Jim Clements, and athletic director Dan Radakovich, was invited into the Oval Office to meet President Donald J. Trump and take a group photo.
The White House visit also included a ceremony on the South Lawn. Among the attendees were South Carolina Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and Gov. Henry McMaster.
During the ceremony, Trump gave a speech in which he lauded the team’s performance and accomplishments. Swinney also presented Trump with two personalized Clemson jerseys.
In his address to the team, Trump said, “You gave America an incredible game that will go down in the record books as one of the hardest-fought and probably one of the most exciting games ever played.”
Former Tigers Deshaun Watson, Carlos Watkins, and Ben Boulware received special shout-outs from the president, who added that Watson will “be a great NFL player.”
Trump also referenced wide receiver Hunter Renfrow’s touchdown catch that sealed the win for the Tigers in the game’s final seconds. “Hunter, you’re so lucky you caught that ball. … That’s pretty cool. It was an inspirational finish to a historic season for Clemson,” he said.
Following the White House visit, the team took a tour of the U.S. Capitol to round out their trip to D.C.