Notre Dame commit Scott Daly has dedicated the past two years of his life to one simple task — the long snap. The Chicagoland native is ready for the hard to work to pay off next week when he official signs his letter on intent to play for the Irish in the fall.
Daly snapped and played tight end for Chicago-area Downers Grove South.
Daly is the second incoming freshman in Notre Dame history to receive a scholarship solely for his ability to snap the ball (The first is rising senior Jordan Cowart). He is considered to be one of the best high school snappers in the country this year and won the Chris Rubio National Snapper of the Year Award at the Herbalife High School Sports Awards show earlier this week. Daly first got serious about earning a ticket to college by snapping when he attended a camp put together by Rubio, a former UCLA long snapper.
“It was very different for me. I didn’t really believe it at first,” said Daly, who also played tight end for Downers Grove South High School. “It was definitely in my mind that it was a goal for me to get a full scholarship. I kept on working my tail off getting better and better — lifting, snapping, doing drills every single day.”
Daly said he trains for about three hours every day. He spends a lot of that time perfecting the technique required to consistently put his snaps in the punter’s hands with no snafus. He also works with a speed coach, lifts weights regularly and has taken up yoga. Daly may turn a few heads as the only 6-4, 230-pound yoga practitioner at his local studio, but he says the intense stretching in triple digit room temperatures has given his flexibility a serious boost.
“At first I wasn’t too crazy about it but I liked it once I got started. It’s a great workout and it definitely helps me a lot,” he said.
Daly imagined himself as a collegiate baseball player until his sophomore year when high school coaches and instructors such as Rubio told him that he should focus on snapping. He caught the eye of the Notre Dame coaching staff during a special teams camp on the South Bend campus the following and summer and shortly thereafter gave up his baseball career.
A lifelong Notre Dame fan, Daly made frequent trips to Notre Dame during Brian Kelly’s first year as head coach. He stayed in contact with recruiting coordinator Chuck Martin and special teams coach Mike Elston even when it seemed the Irish were pursuing Bryce Hanes, a Georgia native long snapper who committed to Ohio State. He attended junior day and became one of the first members of the 2012 class to sign on with the Irish during the Blue-Gold game last spring.
“The second I got my offer from Notre Dame I knew it was the place I wanted to be so I committed on the spot right there,” he said. “I grew up a Notre Dame fan. I always wanted to go there, but never thought I’d be going there for football and get a full scholarship to snap a football between my legs.”
Daly also had an offer on the table from Northwestern and had heard from schools like Alabama, LSU, Michigan State and Stanford. He has remained active in the on-campus recruiting events since he committed and said he’s already looking forward to starting his career next fall in Dublin, which is a short trip from where some of his relatives still live in Galway.