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War Damn Proud!

Below are quotes from Auburn coach Gene Chizik along with Cam Newton and others talking about today's visit to the White House...

Gene Chizik

"It has been great to be at the White House with the national championship football team. What a great honor and privilege this has been for the Auburn Family. It's so neat that so many of our seniors could come back. This is one of the last times this group will be together and what an honor it is to be together here at the White House and celebrate an unbelievable season."

On meeting with the President prior to the ceremony-- "That was really exciting for me to be able to meet with the President. We just engaged and talked a little bit. We talked about Alabama and the devastation and what has happened in the state."

Jay Jacobs

"It's a great day for these players. Nobody gave them a chance at the beginning of the year and to be at the White House is really special for these players, coaches and the Auburn Family. It's been great to see so many seniors come back for this special occasion. It's been like a reunion for the team."

Cam Newton

On being reunited with teammates-- "Seeing those guys was big in my book. Just to be reunited with these guys and see their faces once again, I'm cherishing every single moment. I can remember a time when I would see them every day and not think much of it, but now seeing them really means something. When we have our kids and look back, we can say we had a chance to visit the White House."

On what it was like to meet the President-- "It was special. It is something that you look at on TV and you just wish and wonder what that feels like. Now we've been blessed enough to have this opportunity to meet President Obama. The whole experience was incredible."

Kodi Burns

On visiting the White House-- "It's been amazing. As soon as President Obama got elected, I remember telling my parents, friends and everybody that one of my goals in life was to be able to meet him. It felt great seeing him in person. Being at the White House was a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

On finding out you were going to be presenting the President his jersey-- "I had no idea until some of the people who were working with him called my name and said `you've been selected to hand him the helmet and jersey'.

Did you get a chance to visit with the President-- "Just briefly. He said that he appreciated everything that we've been doing and told us we did a great job this year."

Josh Bynes

On what it was like to meet the President-- "This was an awesome experience and I'm so glad I decided to come. It was overwhelming to actually see the President in person and to shake his hand. This was probably the one and only time in my life that I will ever be in the White House. It's been an exciting experience and I'm glad I came."

What did it feel like when the President mentioned your name in his speech-- "I was shocked and my heart was beating kind of fast. I was hoping that he would pronounce my last name right. I was worried he was going to call me `Burns' or something like that. When he got my last name right, I smiled real hard. It was on national TV, so I hope everybody in my family saw it."

Emory Blake

On White House visit and meeting the President-- "It was amazing. When the President walked in, it was kind of surreal. This has been a great experience for us and a blessing for all of us to be here together."

On visiting the Lincoln Memorial-- "It was awesome. I walked up the stairs and saw the plaque where Dr. King was standing when he gave the `I have a dream' speech. I took a picture of it with my phone and I will definitely save that because it's a once in a lifetime experience to see where history was made."

Philip Lutzenkirchen

On highlight of the trip-- "For me the highlight was seeing the Lincoln Memorial and taking pictures in front of it. Seeing the place where Martin Luther King gave his speech was really neat."

Byron Isom

On visiting the Lincoln Memorial-- "This is my first time being here and seeing it in person takes it to a whole new level. You realize the importance of where it happened (Dr. Martin Luther King's speech). You really can't put it into words what it feels like to be in that same spot and look at that same view as Dr. King had was something special."

T'Sharvan Bell

On the experience of visiting the White House-- "It's been unreal. It was like a dream. When we came in, everyone was looking around and their mouths dropped and their eyes were as big as quarters."

On what it was like to meet President Obama-- "I don't have any words to describe it. The President was a real cool guy."

On being together with the 2010 team again-- "It just brings back all the chemistry that we had last year. It's tough that it can't stay the same and that we have to move on, but it's been great to be back with these guys."