The crowd is trickling into Mercedes Benz Stadium with the kickoff for Monday night’s College Football Playoff national championship game about an hour away.
Alabama native and former NFL star Terrell Owens is among the crowd that navigated the consistent chilly drizzle outside the stadium and security lines to get into the building.
Owens, from Alexander City, Alabama, wore a wool knit Crimson Tide cap and talked with the SEC Network before the contest, telling host Paul Finebaum that his dream growing up wasn’t the NFL, it was to play for Alabama.
If he had, the Crimson Tide might have had another national crown or two in their trophy case.
Owens instead played at Chattanooga and was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1996. He had 1,078 catches in 15 seasons with five NFL teams.
Alabama radio play-by-play announcer Eli Gold says he has been told that President Trump will be on the Alabama Radio Network during the College Football Playoff national championship game between the Crimson Tide and Georgia.
Gold says network officials reached out to the White House through the Alabama governor’s office last week to request an interview with the president and heard back in the last day or so that Trump agreed to come.
Gold says nothing is definitive but if Trump comes on it would like be after the first quarter.
Georgia won’t be at full strength at tight end in its national championship game against Alabama.
Sophomore Charlie Woerner, who set a career high with three catches in the Bulldogs’ Rose Bowl playoff win over Oklahoma last week, was on crutches when the team entered Mercedes-Benz Stadium for Monday night’s game.
Coach Kirby Smart said Sunday Woerner’s status was doubtful after the sophomore suffered a leg injury in last week’s win, so the crutches were not a big surprise.
Woerner, listed with Isaac Nauta behind starting tight end Jeb Blazevich, had nine catches for 100 yards this season.
Woerner is the nephew of former Georgia defensive back and return specialist Scott Woerner, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Scott Woerner was a standout on Georgia’s 1980 national championship team.
No. 4 Alabama faces No. 3 Georgia in an all-Southeastern Conference College Football Playoff national championship game Monday night.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban tries to tie former Alabama coach Bear Bryant’s record six major poll national championships. Saban has led the Tide to four national championships since 2009, and the last three national championship games.
Georgia, coached by former Saban assistant Kirby Smart, is looking for its first national championship since 1980.
The Bulldogs feature the most prolific running back combination in college football in senior Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. They combined for six touchdowns in the Bulldogs semifinal victory against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl.
Alabama has to No. 1 rushing defense in the country and smothered Clemson in the Sugar Bowl semifinal to get here.