'Hey, I’m at the White House': Alabama Coach Nick Saban Calls Recruits During Trump Visit

For coaches of college teams, recruiting players is an all-consuming business. So consuming, in fact, that some even utilize a visit to the White House as an opportunity to impress potential prospects.

On Monday, Alabama coach Nick Saban took his team to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for what has become a tradition for the Crimson Tide after winning the national title and, as reported by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, he used the trip to reach out to some of the players he’s been looking to recruit.

Away from the recruiting trail, Saban and his team met President Donald Trump, who attended the early stages of Alabama’s win over Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship (CFPNC) in January.

The Crimson Tide came from 13-0 down to win 26-23 in overtime, claiming the national title for the second time in three years. Their resilience left a significant impression on Trump, who admitted Alabama looked done and dusted halfway through the contest.

"I was watching, and I said 'coach, not looking too good,'" Trump said during the visit, which was broadcast on the White House official YouTube channel.

"Down 13-0 at halftime to a great Georgia team, these champions fought back as they did all season long, and kept fighting and fighting."

In his tenth year in charge of Alabama, Saban rolled the dice in the CFPNC game, replacing starting quarterback Jalen Hurts with freshman Tua Tagovailoa. The decision was vindicated when the latter threw three touchdown passes, including the 41-yard winner to DeVonta Smith. Trump praised Saban’s coaching style: "Anyone who wants to know how Alabama does it, they should study coach Saban's simple philosophy," he said.

"It's called 'The Process.' Coach tells his players 'don't look at the scoreboard, don't look at any external factors, just focus on your efforts, on your toughness and all your discipline on executing each play, one play at a time. By doing that, by focusing on the process, the outcome—winning—will take care of itself."

Winning the national title atoned for the crushing disappointment of losing the Iron Bowl—and SEC West title—to Auburn in the final week of the regular season. Reflecting on the achievement, Saban suggested it had been a “metaphor of life” in terms of the effort this team had to put in to overcome adversity.

“This group of young men will also learn a lot of lessons that will help them be more successful in life because of the experiences they had together this year as a team," he said.