Scott White makes ‘seamless’ move to UCLA linebackers coach

Scott White has only officially been UCLA’s linebackers coach and special teams coordinator for a little over a month, but his time in Westwood predates even Jim Mora.

White is entering his fifth season on the Bruins’ staff, and most recently served as a defensive quality control coach. He had been taking a visible role coaching linebackers, and was a natural candidate for a promotion after Mike Tuiasosopo was let go after just one season.

“It’s been seamless,” Mora said of the transition. “He’s doing a heck of a job on special teams. He’s got great energy and passion and the players really respond to him. He’s an excellent communicator. You guys don’t see it in the meeting room, but when he stands up in front of the team … he just has really great command. Guys tune in to him.

“The most important thing when you stand in front of a room with players is that you have credibility. You can lose it fast. Scotty has credibility with our players.”

White was recruited to Washington by Rick Neuheisel, although he redshirted what would be the coach’s last season in Seattle. When Neuheisel came to UCLA, he eventually hired White out of Palomar College in San Marcos, Calif.

With the Bruins, White worked closely with former assistant Jeff Ulbrich, who coached linebackers for two seasons before becoming defensive coordinator last season — and leaving in February for the Atlanta Falcons. White said that he is carrying over a lot of what Ulbrich did with the unit.

But his most important skill may be recruiting. His presence has helped UCLA land top prospects, including sophomore linebacker Kenny Young. That knack was evident early.

“He may be the unsung hero of the recruiting class because he was such a good recruiter himself,” Neuheisel said in 2002. “This guy wanted phone numbers all the time … I think he will be one of the great hosts that we’ll ever have because he is so into recruiting.”

White has also had no problems adjusting to a new boss. New defensive coordinator Tom Bradley has more than three decades of experience coaching college football, but hasn’t barged in and stepped on anyone’s toes in Los Angeles.

“It’s been great,” White said. “He’s a ‘no ego’ guy. You look at his resume, so to speak — you would never know he’s that accomplished (based) on how he carries himself each and every day, and how he works with everyone else on the staff. … He gives me the autonomy to do what I do. He wants to watch and get an overview of how everybody’s moving around so he can get to know all the players.”

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