In the Trenches with Scott White

Sept. 30, 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 reporter C.J. Bowles to discuss his starting role, the team's status as an underdog against Stanford, and the start of school. Did you get a chance to look around the Notre Dame campus at all?
Scott White: 'Not really. One of our 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 at Notre Dame 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 linebacking corps with you?
White: 'The one thing about a good defense and the way that we play defense is that we are really dependent 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 upfield and force everything back inside, 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.'

GH: Joe was hurt last year and Evan was a safety. Are you impressed by their ability to step right into their new roles this season?
White: 'Everybody has known what Joe can do since he first 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 in 2002, 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: Have you had a chance to see Stanford play at all?
White: 'I watched them against BYU and they looked impressive, especially playing 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 they slowed SC down the way that they did, the defense must have something.'

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. We really need to 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 into 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. You could say that I'm a movie guy. I don't really have a favorite, but I liked, `Man on Fire;' it was quite good. Right now, it's probably my favorite.'

GH: Sounds like a good one, Scott. Thanks for your time!
White: 'No problem.'

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