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‘I’ve had no communication with Oklahoma’

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Immediately after the season, Sooners head coach has a defensive coordinator search to complete. One of the names most linked to the open position is Alabama co-DC Pete Golding, but Thursday morning at Media Day for the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl he denied that there’s been any discussions between he and Riley.

“I have not,” Golding said. “I have not. I’ve had no communication with Oklahoma. So I’m excited about playing those guys. They’ve got a great football team, and we’re focused on the task at hand, trying to get our kids prepared for Saturday.”

Golding is just the latest in a long list of Saban protégé’s to be targeted by another team. But he insists, at least for the time being, he’s content with where he’s at.

“I mean, obviously I think it starts with Coach [Nick] Saban, the success he’s had,” Golding said about what makes Alabama coaches so intriguing. “And I know you mentioned that, but I think the biggest thing is day in and day out how he runs the organization, the expectations he has not only for his players, but for his staff. You know, I’m working for the best guy to ever do it, so it’s something that I’m very excited about. I’m fortunate enough to be there learning stuff every day, and so I’m happy for that.”

The fourth-ranked Sooners and top-ranked Crimson Tide will clash Saturday evening at Hard Rock Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on ESPN.

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