The Buckeyes took down Oregon 42–20 to win the national championship, continuing the remarkable emergence of quarterback Cardale Jones and the establishment of Ezekiel Elliott as one of the college football's top up-and-coming running backs. The national title was also the third for head coach Urban Meyer, who coached the Buckeyes to a 14–1 record in his third season at Ohio State.
Not surprisingly, Obama was quick to mention Jones and Ohio State's upcoming quarterback battle.
"It was an exciting season from start to finish," Obama said. "To say that Ohio State's path to the title felt improbable at times would be an understatement.
"They kept on battling back with the help of not one, not two, but three quarterbacks. ... We learned that Cardale Jones is not your average third-string quarterback. Anybody with a nickname like '12 Gauge' has to be taken seriously.
"I told him that I could throw a football 75 yards also, but he didn't believe me. So he clearly is a smart kid."
Obama was referencing Jones' 74-yard throw at Ohio State's spring game on Saturday.
Obama's full remarks are below (beginning at the 23:40 mark in the video):
Ohio State players, coaches and staff shared numerous photos of the trip on Twitter. The presidential portraits seemed especially popular.
What a freaking day, blessed!!— Cardale Jones (@Cardale7_) April 20, 2015
I'm Just Saying, President Obama asked how was my daughter Chloe AND called me 12Gauge, no big deal— Cardale Jones (@Cardale7_) April 20, 2015
After Obama's remarks, Meyer credit Obama for his early support of a playoff system in college football.
"I'm glad he's a sports fan," Meyer said, reports ESPN.com. "He made the point several times, but it's true—he jumped right in the middle of the conversation about the College Football Playoff, and we obviously benefited. This was a great day."
- Mike Fiammetta