When you bring home a program's first national title in more than three decades, it's safe to say it's going to be an emotional night. Though there were plenty of tears of joy to go around on Clemson's sideline, perhaps no player embodied what the victory meant in the big picture than linebacker Ben Boulware.

The unquestioned leader of the defense paid tribute to some of the big-name players who came through the program in recent years. From quarterback Tajh Boyd to receiver Sammy Watkins, Boulware gave individual shout-outs to those who helped build the program to what it is today.

Boulware has always been a passionate player and vocal leader, and it's easy to see why so many players look to him to set the tone. What Boyd, Watkins and others did absolutely paved the way for Monday night's 35-31 victory over Alabama. Boulware wanted to make sure he shared that moment, and that trophy, with them.