In the Trenches with Scott White
Sept. 29, 2004
Over the past two games, Scott White has earned the start at one of the two inside linebacker positions opposite the Huskies' leading tackler, Joe Lobendahn. A year ago, White was a key backup at the position as a Freshman, playing in all 12 games and being named to The Sporting News's Pac-10 All-Freshman team. Fresh off his nine tackle performance against Notre Dame, White sat down with GoHuskies.com reporter, CJ Bowles to discuss his starting role, being an underdog against Stanford, and the start of school.
GoHuskies.com: Did you get a chance to look around the Notre Dame campus at the tourist attractions?
Scott White: 'Not really. One of the big emphasis' going down there was to not be in awe of the history of the place. We wanted to stay within ourselves and stay focused on the task at hand. That was more important than going to see the dome or Notre Dame Stadium.'
GH: How did the feeling of tradition compare to the feeling you get at Husky Stadium?
White: 'It was similar. Obviously, they take their brand of football very seriously there, as we do here. We're a little bit down right now, but this is still big time football and I think people really understand that. The players on this team understand that and realize why they came to Washington.'
GH: How much easier does it make your job to have the two leading tacklers on the defense in Joe Lobendahn and Evan Benjamin on the linbacking corps with you?
White: 'The one thing about a good defense and the way that we play defense is that we are really dependant on accountability and being able to put pressure on the ball. Knowing those guys are going to be where they need to be helps me a lot because I know that I can trust them. I know that if I can get up-field and force everything back inside, I know that they'll be there. If I didn't have so much trust in those guys, I might sneak inside more and give up some plays on the outside. Having them helps our whole scheme and I feel like they're an upgrade from the guys that we had last year.'
GH: Lobendahn was injured last year and Benjamin played at the safety position. So what you are telling me is that the transition has gone smoothly?
White: 'Everybody has known what Joe can do as soon as he came in. With Evan, the way we play our strong safeties, he was up around the line a lot anyway. What it comes down to is that guys who are playmakers are guys who are playmakers. It doesn't matter if you were playing kicker last year. If you can come out, play, be aggressive, and prove that you can play this position, you're going to play.'
GH: You have started the past two games at inside linebacker. When you came to UW last year, did you expect to be a starter this early into your career?
White: 'I felt like I should have started last year. The way that I was playing early on, and then especially when Joe (Lobendahn) got hurt, my expectations went up a little bit. I felt like I was going to be pushed up into the starting role. Unfortunately it didn't happen, but this year, I feel like I've been more of a leader. It's kind of hard as a Sophomore because you're a young player still and the older guys might not listen to you. I feel like I'm still coming into my own and being a starter, you take on an added expectation by setting the pace instead of following it. I think that's the major difference between starting and not starting.'
GH: Speaking you to during this interview, you seem like a very soft-spoken person. Do things change when you get on the field?
White: 'I'm very vocal on the field. My juices get flowing and I get very excited out there. I'm really passionate about the game and I try to get it to rub off on the other players. It benefits me and I hope it benefits some of the other guys.'
GH: Who would you say is the most vocal member of the defense?
White: 'Probably me, In terms of talking and yelling and being excited. I think most of the guys would say the same thing.'
GH: With the recent bad weather in Seattle, how much does it make you miss your hometown, San Diego?
White: 'It's hard to come out and practice sometimes when it's raining and it's cold and your body hurts and your legs are stiff. But like I said, it's about having that passion to play the game. It's something that I think everybody needs to have.'
GH: How do you analyze Carl Bonnell's performance in the second half at Notre Dame?
White: 'Bonnell came in there and played well I thought. I thought he made some plays when the pocket broke down and he was pretty much running for his life. He's a competitor, I like Carl.
GH: Have you had a chance to see Stanford play at all?
White: 'I watched them against BYU and they looked impressive, especially if they played USC as tough as they did. They really have a good wide receiver in Evan Moore, he's really big and fast and physical. They also have a good running back in J.R. Lemon. Obviously if the slowed SC down the way that they did, the defense must have something, but I haven't watched too much on them.'
GH: Going into this Saturday's game, the Huskies are the underdogs, how does that change your preparation for the game?
White: 'Personally, I don't pay too much attention to that and I don't think anybody else does either. I think guys just have to have pride. We're 0-3 and to be honest I'm embarrassed. I think we really need to nut up and get back on track this week.'
GH: Are you ready for school to start this week?
White: 'Yeah, I kind of am. It's going to be fun for first couple of weeks and then you start having to work during midterm time. I have a pretty light schedule. I'm taking Sociology 220, I'm in an independent study, and then I have to take my foreign language requirement, so I'm taking Swahili.'
GH: What kind of non-football things do you like to do for fun?
White: 'I'm a little bit of everything. I'm going to do whatever is happening, I'm kind of a go-with-the-flow type person. When I'm by myself, I'm kind of a homebody, but if there's something else going on, I'll be there. I also like movies and TV, stuff like that. You could say that I'm a movie guy. I don't really have a favorite, but I liked 'Man of Fire', that movie was quite good. Right now, it's probably my favorite.'