The UGA ROTC cadets who marched onto the field with President Trump

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ROTC cadets from Georgia (left) and Alabama escorted President Trump onto the field at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. AJC photo: Hyosub Shin

President Donald Trump attended part of Monday night’s College Football Playoff National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and was on the field as theThe Zac Brown Band with Atlanta gospel choir David Walker & High Praise performed the National Anthem and Carly Ortega, 12, signed for hearing impaired viewers.

Accompanying the president were cadets from the Universities of Georgia and Alabama. Ahead of kickoff we happened to meet the UGA contingent, Cadets TJ Matty, Alyssa Ruffa and Mitch Walton of the U.S. Army Cadet Command (ROTC) 6th BDE Army ROTC University of Georgia.

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Matty and Ruffa are seniors from New Jersey and Walton is a sophomore from Virginia. All were excited about the opportunity to march alongside their commander in chief. Getting tapped for the presidential detail was a mix of luck and opportunity. Those selected were cadets who already happened to have a ticket to the game.

You can watch them process into the stadium with their fellow cadets, ROTC leaders and the president in the clip below.

“Last night was one of the most memorable experiences of my life,” Ruffa posted after the game. “I got to spend the beginning of the National Championship with the President of the United States as we stood in front of thousands of people during the national anthem. At the end of the night I got to do what I went there to do — cheer on the dawgs for the very last time as a UGA student. Although we didn’t come home as national champions, I know there are many more wins in the future for us and I could’ve have asked for a better end to my final college football season. GO DAWGS.


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