Although Miami (Fla.) and Florida will open the college football season this week, the matchup between Alabama and Duke kicks off in 11 days.
Nick Saban and his coaching staff have been trying to keep players healthy – especially on defense — as he wants this group to become a dangerous one. He has used certain terms and phrases (Bama factor, winning football, etc…) all offseason to get his bunch mentally prepared for the journey; however, the student-athletes have not needed much motivation from Saban.
The energy behind this team comes from a coach who has worked for this moment.
Pete Golding, 35, earned his first defensive coordinator job at 22 years of age for Tusculum College from 2007 to 2009. After his three years there, he spent time at Delta State, Southeastern Louisiana, Southern Mississippi and University of Texas-San Antonio.
During the eight-year period (2010-17), Golding continued to refine himself as a player caller and secondary coach.
When he spoke to the Alabama football media at Open Practice/Fan Day, one could tell he’s focused on making this the best defense under Saban. He talked about developing players, establishing relationships, keeping players fresh and making sure guys push each other.
He used the same verbiage of his boss, but the Louisiana native carried a sense of passion and energy with his speech. According to Golding, he is not focused on any other job and his sole purpose is assisting this program to a national championship.
Upon hearing him being promoted to primary defensive coordinator, a lot of the leadership players were in full support of Golding.
Dylan Moses, a junior at inside linebacker, spoke highly of his position coach at Southeastern Conference Media Days.
He said Golding is a “perfectionist” and a “nitpicker” and both traits help with making him a much better player.
With the two growing up 45 minutes apart from one another, Moses values Golding’s intellect and said he is “confident” with him running the show.
Shyheim Carter, a senior defensive back, is one of the two to three “smartest players” Saban has coached at Alabama – according to the six-time national champion. He stated that the former four-star has played every position in the secondary and praised Carter with saying “he would make a great coach.”
Carter, like Moses, is a Louisiana native.
The state with the nickname “The Boot” has a lot of athletes on this Crimson Tide defense and its coordinator is the symmetry that locks it all in. Carter, a product of Kentwood (La.) High School, had a prior relationship with Golding before arriving at Alabama in 2016.
Energy is the word he used to describe his coach.
“He brings all the excitement to the team,” Carter said of Golding. “Each and every day throughout meetings, even if you walk through the halls, he brings excitement.”
When two of your leadership players speak highly of you, it’s a good sign.
Golding has a tough task in locating a starter at the second inside linebacker spot – opposite Dylan Moses – but he has five names to choose from. A knee injury to Joshua McMillon (redshirt senior) in Alabama’s first preseason scrimmage has him out for the season.
Of the five names competing, two are true freshmen.
If either Shane Lee or Christian Harris wins the job and are successful, it puts a big feather in Golding’s hat where preparing players are concerned. However, the idea of Harris starting and generating success is much bigger. With him not being an early enrollee, should he pick up the system and run with it, fans and national media will see Golding as an elite talent developer.
Things are getting interesting in camp, and Golding is about to show he’s the next big thing.
*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber only content!*