NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley says he’s not interested in the NFL right now.
The question came up at his weekly news conference Monday, the same day the Cleveland Browns fired coach Hue Jackson. The 35-year-old Riley, who led the Sooners to the College Football Playoff last season in his first year as head coach, is considered one of the rising stars in coaching. He got a new five-year, $25 million deal this summer.
Riley coached Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma, fueling speculation that there might be mutual interest between the parties.
Riley anticipated the question.
“You sit here and answer these questions and I always want to be truthful,” he said. “And the truth for me is, I love Oklahoma. I love coaching here. I love college football. I certainly don’t have that itch right now. I don’t know if I ever will.”
Riley didn’t rule out a jump in the future. For now, he’s focused on leading the seventh-ranked Sooners against Texas Tech on Saturday.
“I’m never going to be a guy that’s going to stand up here and say no way, no how will any of these things ever happen,” he said. “I don’t know that. I know right now I could care less about the NFL. We’re trying to win this game and trying to make a run that we all think we have in us right now.”