Landon Dickerson wasn’t supposed to play in Monday night’s national championship game. The Alabama center had suffered a season-ending knee injury in the SEC title game, and he had recently undergone surgery.
But with the Crimson Tide’s 52-24 victory against Ohio State wrapped up, coach Nick Saban called Dickerson over. He then sent the senior into the game to snap for Alabama’s kneel downs. Dickerson received a hug from each of his teammates when he got on the field.
After the game, Dickerson showed his appreciation for his coach. The 6-foot-6, 325-pound lineman picked Saban up and carried him onto the field.
“He wasn’t supposed to play in the game,” Saban said (via AL.com). “He just came off of surgery. But he wanted to go in and snap the ball, so we let him do that and I guess he was pretty happy for me. But I enjoyed the ride.”
Dickerson won the Rimington Trophy last week, given to the country’s best center, and he was a unanimous first-team All-American. He played a key role in getting Saban his sixth national title for Alabama — and seventh overall.