Clemson returns home to thousands of fans; celebration parade set for Saturday

Clemson's Travis Etienne celebrates after the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. Clemson beat Alabama 44-16. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Clemson is back home in South Carolina after winning the national championship.

Thousands of fans met the team on campus late Tuesday night, and coach Dabo Swinney promised them a week of celebrations ending with a parade for the champions on Saturday.

The Tigers beat Alabama 44-16 on Monday night to win their third national championship and second in the past three seasons.

Swinney bragged about his team's academic accomplishments and several players thanked the fans for their support, including freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

The parade Saturday morning will end in Memorial Stadium just before the Clemson men's basketball team plays No. 4 Virginia.

The Tigers' plane was given a water cannon salute as it landed at the airport near Greenville.