06:24 PM EST
This afternoon President Obama welcomed the BCS National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide to the White House, honoring their 13th championship and their undefeated 2009 season.
The President highlighted one of the team’s trademarks, their unwavering focus on what's important:
[Coach Saban] asked his players if they wanted to work hard enough to beat their teammates in a drill, or if they wanted to work hard enough to be the best team in the country. And it's pretty clear what choice they made.
That's the kind of tone this team sets, both on and off the field. It's why these young men -- and this is something I’m very proud of -- had the second highest graduation rate of any team ranked in the top 25. It shows that these guys have their priorities straight. Together, they contributed more than 3,500 hours of community service that Alabama students -- student athletes performed last year.
And that spirit continued earlier today, when the team met with a group of kids from one of D.C.'s roughest neighborhoods, and helped teach them about the importance of staying in school and making healthy choices. That's how champions act -– in football and in life.