Jun 26, 2014, 12:54 PM EDT
Notre Dame brought in Scott Daly as a scholarship long-snapper, redshirting for the 2012 season as Jordan Cowart played out his eligibility. Daly stepped in as the snapper for both punts and field goals, with a seemingly error-free season while contributing a few tackles on special teams to boot.
Let’s take a closer look at Daly.
6’1.5″, 248 lbs.
Junior, No. 61
Daly was named the national long snapper of the year by Chris Rubio and Scout.com and the second best by 247Sports.com. He had a scholarship offer from Northwestern as well, but the Chicagoland product chose Notre Dame’s.
Kelly talked about the decision to offer a scholarship to Daly on Signing Day, a testament to his abilities.
“Not often do you specialize, it sometimes might be two or three years before you do that, a lot of times a long snapper will walk on,” Kelly said. “His value will be seen immediately, and his value and the kind of kid he is somebody we could not overlook, especially somebody that brings that skill set to our football team.”
Freshman Season (2011): Did not see action. Redshirted.
Sophomore Season (2012): Played in all 13 games, snapping for field goals and punts. Made two special teams tackles as well.
Daly should be a four-year starter at long snapper, a more than respectable use of a scholarship, even in the 85-man era. While he’s not quite as tall as the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder he was sold as during his recruitment, Daly’s got enough bulk to handle the point of attack on field goals, and speed to get down the field on punts.
As Kelly eluded to in his Signing Day comments when inking Daly, he’s not a huge fan of giving specialists scholarships, and has done well to find someone like Kyle Brindza who can handle multiple duties. That Daly can handle short and long snaps shows his value and likely explains why the staff coveted him.
The only time you’ll notice Daly is when he’s not doing his job. So for Daly’s sake, here’s hoping he’s a guy that skates below the radar for the next three seasons. It may be redundant, but making sure your scholarship long snapper can serve as your long snapper in every phase is important.
That wasn’t always the case with Cowart, who lost some snaps as a junior when he served only as a short-snapper, and also suffered a self-inflicted hand injury that cost him four games. It takes a unique guy to make it as a specialist in major college or NFL football. You’d be hard-pressed to say you have an idea what Daly’s ceiling is. But the stability the Irish have now feels like a long way from Notre Dame’s coaches pulling Johnny Crowther out of the dorm leagues to snap.
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