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Brad White Talks About Being New UK Assistant Football Coach

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Kentucky Football 

Joe Craft Football Training Facility – Lexington, Ky.

February 12, 2018

Brad White – Outside Linebackers

On the hiring process …

“It was a quick one, that’s for sure. I got a call early that day, it ended up being on a Sunday, and had to turn around and drive down to Lexington. Luckily, Indianapolis is only a three-hour drive down. I got to talk with the staff and I’m glad I made a good impression and I’m really excited to be here. You can tell the minute he (Stoops) walked in that there was a good energy and a good vibe. As quick as it was, it was hard to look into all of the layers they had on the roster but you can tell they had talent at the outside linebacker position. I quickly reviewed some tape and it was nice to have access to that. It ended up being a really good situation and a good interview. It worked out for both of us and I’m looking forward to getting really hands-on with these players.”

On Kentucky’s current group of linebackers …

“You want talented guys that can make plays and if you’re afraid of that as a coach, if you’re afraid of setting the bar high in that regard, then you probably shouldn’t be in this conference. I’m looking forward to that challenge and trying to elevate their game. Obviously, Coach (Dean) Hood did a phenomenal job of coaching those guys. They made a lot of plays, spent a lot of time in the opponents’ backfield last year. So we can hone in on some technique-things, work on some get-offs, some more pass-rush. I think they have a lot of talent. Not just Josh Allen, but Denzil (Ware). As you go through the cut-ups as a staff, you get to see all of these guys pop up on film and make plays. So even the Jamar Watsons, I’m looking forward to work with them and Jordan Wright and the list goes on and on. So, again, really excited to get into the football stuff and from what you can see in the weight room, they’re really getting after it. There’s a difference between the weight room and them putting on pads. That’s what spring ball is for, we’ll start honing in on that technique this spring, and then once they get comfortable with that technique it will hopefully carry into fall camp.

“The biggest thing for a pass-rusher or a mid-setter is just honing in on some of the nuances that I’m going to teach them. It takes time. Sometimes there’s sort of an uncomfortable stage, but you have to understand as a coach that it takes time. Let them get used to it. That’s the beauty of spring ball. They’ll have all those practices this spring and they’ll have all of fall camp so that when that first game hits and we kick off against Central Michigan, they’ll feel comfortable and ready to execute.”

On going from playing for Coach Hood to working with him and “replacing” him …

“I would never use the word replace. Coach Hood is a mentor of mine. I told him the minute I walked in that very much of what I do and how I approach the coaching I’ve taken from him. I have always had the utmost respect for him. It’s definitely a different deal in terms of being a colleague. I was a graduate assistant at Wake Forest when he was still there as the defensive coordinator so you sort of move past that stage. I’m really looking forward to working with him. He has a phenomenal family and he’s a phenomenal coach. You just turn on the tape and you know they’ve been coached so that’s another thing that excited me. I know I’m walking into a position group that are good guys, good players, they’ve been taught the right way, so now I can just sort of put my spin on it a little bit and hopefully we can continue to elevate both their play and that helps elevate the play of the entire defense.”

On the transition for the players …

“It should absolutely be seamless. They will know what to expect. My expectations will be very much in line with Coach Hood’s expectations.”

On if he wanted to get back into college coaching or stay in the NFL …

“When you talk about the interview process, that was a question that obviously came up. For me, the big thing about coaching is coaching. For me it’s about fit. It’s about the right fit for my family, its about the right fit for me as a coach, it’s about the program in general, and let’s be honest, when you're coaching in the SEC, you’re working with NFL-caliber talent. I’m looking forward to working with these guys. I’m looking forward to trying to help them get to the next level and I think that’s why you get into coaching. You into coaching to watch progression. I very much enjoyed my time in Indianapolis and I think when you look at the numbers and you look at the player progression I think we’ve progressed players there as well and you saw progression through. But I think you see it at a greater level in college. I think you can really see a guy jump from point A to point B in a fairly quick timeframe. I think you’ll see guys take that next step even from the first day of spring to the last day of spring. Then they’ll take another leap in fall camp and then hopefully when you turn on the film at the need of next season you’ll see some guys that made some quantum leaps. That’s what we’re going for and some may be more quantum than others, but as long as they’re progressing in the right way and moving in the right direction, we’ll be excited.”

On helping players prepare for NFL …

“I do think that’s where my experience helps. You end up having traction with the guys, you’re not just walking in as a new coach in the program and now they’re trying to figure you out. They understand that this guy has been there and understand what he’s looking for. I have friends around the NFL so they’ll understand and they’ll respect the teaching that I’ll give these players. So that’s just anther added boost to that entire room, not just Josh (Allen), but I think when he watches the drill tapes that I have and you watch an NFL logo on the helmet, your ears perk and you’re a little bit more wide-eyed and you say ‘now I understand what I have to do. It’s not just about being the best 50 percent of the time. I’ve got to be the best against everybody and it doesn’t matter how good a tackle may be from another program. Well, I was good on eight of the 12 games but on four games I wasn’t as good that was the best tackle in college football.’ Well, that’s not going to cut it. The best tackle in college football may not crack the starting lineup in the NFL. They have to understand that they have to be dominant every week on every snap on every play and technique’s not just a one- or two-down deal. You’ve got to be technically sound. You’ve got to play with effort on every down in a game and if you’re fading, then we’ve got to get someone else in there, because you never know when that game-changing play is going to happen and if that’s the play you take off, that could be the difference between winning and losing a game, especially in this conference.”

On if he should automatically get every recruit from Rhode Island 

“I wish. We’ll see. There’s not many players that come out of the state, but I am really looking forward to getting there and into that mid-Atlantic area because we’ve had a lot of good players from New Jersey, Washington D.C., and Maryland. So we’ll hit the ground running there and see if we can get some more.”

On how big the change will be in recruiting coming from the NFL …

“Things have changed over the last six years in terms of the rules. I think recruiting is recruiting. It’s about relationships, it’s about knowing the high school coaches, it’s about knowing the families and the players and I think that if they can relate to you, if they understand that you’ve got their best interest at heart, that’s no different than when I was recruiting at the Air Force Academy, Murray State or Wake Forest. Now, some of the rules have changed, but that’s part of growth and if you can’t adjust and adapt, then you’re not much of a coach.”

On the early signing period …

“I think it’s changed recruiting. Obviously, it’s moved all of the time periods up. I think it does offer some more leeway for misses because now you have to recruit earlier in the process and you can’t see the full development of a young man, but that’s just the way that it goes whether it’s in recruiting or on the football field. Different things move processes forward and you learn to adjust and adapt and if you don’t, you die and if you do adjust and adapt, then you’re successful and you get to places that you want to get to.”

On if he had any hesitation about going back to college level …

“There were some possibilities to stay and I think it goes back to it being about fit. It’s all about fit and family and my wife and I. We had to sit down and discuss all of the possibilities. Obviously, this one came up quick and we had to make a quicker decision, but I’m blessed to have a phenomenal wife that’s really supportive in everything we do and we do everything together in that sense and we felt this was the best move for us. It had nothing to do with NFL vs. college, but this was an ascending program with a lot of talent there at the outside linebacker position. Again, that’s potential and we saw the potential, but now I have to come in and do my job and help those guys fulfill their potential and then hopefully you can see those guys playing on Sunday down the line in the future.”

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