White searching for a spot to play

If there was a way to describe Scott White's demeanor going into spring practice, it would be hungry. The 6-1, 234 pound linebacker from Lemon Grove, California saw plenty of playing time in 2003, but he won't be content with the same role in 2004. In talking with Scott, it's clear what his main objective is, and there isn't wiggle room for the goal he's set for himself.

"I'm starting, that's the bottom line," White told Dawgman.com. "We have to get the best three guys on the field. We were 6-6 last year, so whether it's Evan, myself, whoever...I want to be one of the best three. That's my main goal."

When everyone is healthy, Scott believes, '...it's myself, Evan and Joe Lobendahn," that are the top three linebackers available to new LB coach Chris Tormey. And White doesn't care what position he plays. He just wants that starting nod.

"They've been talking about SAM," he said. "WIL and SAM are pretty much interchangable. If I had to compete with Evan, may the best man win. Competition is going to make everybody better. It's going to make our whole team better. Coach Tormey has already talked about this to me."

As with Greg Carothers, Benjamin will be moving from the secondary to the linebacking corps, and White believes the junior from Redmond won't have any problems stepping closer to the line of scrimmage.

"We haven't put any pads on or hit the field yet, but I think he'll do great," Scott said of Evan. "But he's a football player and that's the most important thing. Just getting out there, making plays."

White can't wait to see the field this spring, especially after a winter of mat drills that came to him a lot easier than the year before. "Last year was a lot harder for me because I didn't know anything, but this year has been easier because I was in better shape too," he said. "Last year I didn't play as much and wasn't expected to do as much, but this year I'm a regular player, so I'm in better shape and I know the ropes, so it was easier. But it's never easy."

The biggest reason for White's enthusiasm, besides the shot at a starting spot? Chris Tormey. The former Nevada head coach is back again at Montlake for another stint with the Huskies, and no one is more excited to be working with Tormey than White.

"He's for real," Scott said of his new position coach. "He's not going to sweet-talk you, he'll tell it to you straight. The first thing he asked me is what am I trying to get out of all of this and I told him I want to be able to get to the next level. He said, 'OK, so you need to do this, this and this,' from watching me on tape. We have a lot of work to do and that's exactly what I needed. I didn't need someone to sweet-talk me and be my cheerleader. I need someone to be hard on me, to let me know what I need to get better at.

"I need to be more disciplined in how I play. Last year helped me out a lot. I need to stay within the schemes, stay within what I'm being coached to do. I think that's the biggest thing. And then after that I think I need to be a better open-field tackler."

Scott's pretty impressed by the young guns behind him, especially Tahj Bomar. "I like Tahj a lot," said White of the sophomore-to-be from Kent. "I like what he brings. He has a great mentality. He's aggressive. That's the main ingredient. Once those guys learn they'll see that from last year to the spring, things will slow down a little bit like it did for me. I think they'll benefit from the older players trying to help them and hopefully they'll take well to the coaching and learn from their mistakes and get better every single day like I did."

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