LB Coach Scott White Previews Spring Game

Apr. 27 -- UCLA linebackers coach Scott White looked ahead to Saturday's spring game and spoke about the recovery of Dechaun Holiday and progression of Mique Juarez...

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On splitting up the teams for the spring game

Yeah. We had the draft a couple days ago – it was fun. We had a big staff meeting. Just to mix it up, make it competitive. We wanted it to be good on good, so it was good that way. I’m excited to watch these guys mix it up. Coaches are off the field, so they’ll get out there and be able to just go do their stuff. It will be very vanilla in terms of the playcalling and what not, but for the most part it will be fun to watch them go out there and mix it up and go apply some of the things that they’ve been working on throughout the 14 practices. 

On the Kolton Miller swing pass

Aw man. So both sides get one trick play. It will happen whenever. So that’s what you saw out there today. 

On the team selection / draft process

It was just: you get this pick, I got the next. Like street football, like you would do in the neighborhood. 

On whether there will be a prize for the winning team

Not that I know of. Bragging rights, I guess. I’m interested to see the two national-championship coaches – coach Cromwell and coach Kondos-Field – get out there. They have already been jawing back and forth. So it will be good, it will be fun to be around them. It will make it a fun atmosphere. 

On how much control the honorary coaches will have over the game

Oh, they’re the head coaches. They’re running everything. Coach Mora has already kind of talked to them about their responsibility. They make all the calls, whether it is going for it on fourth or a timeout in a two-minute situation. So they have the reigns as the head coach in every sense. 

On whether it’s strange for the position coaches to be coaching against some of their players

It’s gonna be fun. Right now, I’m all blue linebackers. I’ll obviously be watching the tape of both sides but I’ just going to really be focusing in on the blue side. 

On DeChaun Holiday’s shoulder

Well he had surgery. I don’t know from there. That’s the latest I got. I don’t know where he goes from there – what the timeline is for him to be back and what not. But he was really coming on. He was a guy that I was really excited about in the offseason. He came out and was lighting it up early and then had a freak thing where he rolled and fell on (his shoulder) funny. So they’re cleaning it up with the surgery, hopefully it went well. He’s going to come by tomorrow and meet with me. But for him, the biggest thing is just going to be rehab and academics. You know, the football stuff will be there, but that’s just what I want him to focus on, is the rehab and the academics. 

On whether Holiday will be back for fall camp

Yeah, he should be back. Yeah. 

On who will replace Jayon Brown’s intangibles 

Aw man. We’ve got Josh Woods. Josh is incredible. He’s probably, by my estimation, the smartest football player on our team. He knows where everybody is at, he knows all three (linebacker) spots. So we love Jayon, but Josh is really something. I’m excited to see him play this year. 

On whether it’s Josh Woods’ time to step up

Absolutely. And he’s feeling that too. A lot of times when you get these young guys, they understand the totem pole and they kind of stay in their lane. Even when Myles was having the success that he was having early on, it was kind of that – still stay in his lane, and you’ve got the upperclassmen. And now it’s Josh’s time to go from that to higher up on the totem pole and kind of start to level up and become that guy. And I think he’s embracing that. 

On Mique Juarez’s spring

He just gets better every day, just a little bit. I think the biggest thing is: He’s showing up to work everyday, and he’s stable that way. And he’s becoming the guy that I recruited, just from a personality and demeanor (standpoint). He seems happier, he’s developing his voice, he wants more on his plate now. Whereas in the past it was: Let me take some off of this play. But he gets a little bit better – he’s already lost about 10 pounds; he’s probably got about another 15 to go. I think with the big-time summer program and a big-time training camp, he’ll be OK. But he’s really, really coming on and really developing. And he is, I think, going to be OK. I really do. 

On whether Mique could see some playing time this season

Oh yeah. We’ve got 28 practices in the fall. So if he can just continue to really get better and better. But the biggest thing for us early on was really just to get him stabilized, and get him to show up every day, and get him to be dialed in to what we’re doing. And he’s done that. I mean, he didn’t miss one practice this spring, he didn’t miss one rep. So that was very positive. His body has changed and his movements are changing. His confidence. It’s just so many things, so many levels that he still has to go, but I would say that the arrow is trending up right now with him. 

On if with the NCAA permitting another assistant coach for each school’s staff, would you be willing to let go of your special teams coach position?

I’m gonna do whatever the team needs honestly. If they want me to still do the special teams, that’s great. But if not – if it’s the best for the team to have just a special teams coach that can just focus on that – I’m all for that. At the end of the day, we’re judged on 12 Saturdays: Did you win, or did you lose? So however we ride with that, I’m fine for it. 

On whether it’s been difficult juggling the linebackers and special teams coaching duties

Well I think the most challenging part is to manage both, because I’m so involved in the defense. People don’t realize how much of that goes into it. So it’s sometimes hard that way, because I’m so involved. Now if I was lesser involved on defense – just in terms of gameplan and the adjustments on gameday – then it would be a little bit easier. But we’ve got a great staff in terms of: We try to approach it like it’s an all-hands-on-deck situation. Where everybody is involved, everybody’s voice is heard, everybody has a hand in special teams. So it’s a collective effort.

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