Irish A-to-Z: Scott Daly

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Notre Dame’s fifth-year long snapper has been all that the Irish staff hoped for when they offered him a scholarship. After saving a year of eligibility behind Jordan Coward, Daly has played in 39 consecutive games with a final season on tap in 2016 before turning over the reins to incoming freshman  John Shannon.

While the kick operation hasn’t always been smooth (2014’s roller-coaster with Kyle Brindza and a variety of holders), Daly’s shown a remarkable consistency and been able to handle both short and long snaps. His expertise was a big reason why new specialists Justin Yoon and Tyler Newsome both had excellent seasons.

 

SCOTT DALY
6’1.5″, 250 lbs.
GS, No. 61, LS

 

RECRUITING PROFILE

Daly received multiple scholarship offers before choosing Notre Dame, telling you pretty much all you need to know about a roster position that is often handled by walk-ons or cross-training offensive linemen.

Daly was national long snapper of the year according to Chris Rubio and 247 had him ranked second. He chose the Irish over Northwestern and a handful of other schools that offered scholarships.

 

PLAYING CAREER

Freshman Season (2012): Did not see action. Redshirted.

Sophomore Season (2013): Played in all 13 games, snapping for field goals and punts. Made two special teams tackles as well.

Junior Season (2014): Played in all 13 games, snapping for punts, field goals and extra points.

Senior Season (2015): Played in all 13 games, handling snaps for punts, field goals and extra points. Made one tackle and recovered a fumble on special teams.

 

WHAT WE SAID LAST YEAR

It seems that faith in Daly wasn’t a question—not just from me, but the Irish coaching staff (and sports information department).

It’s worth noting that on Daly’s official UND.com profile, they take great pains to point out that Daly “executed quality snaps on all 52 of his point after attempts, 24 field goal attempts and 51 punts.” (Doing the math, that’s every snap.)

It’s hard to interpret that in any way other than, “NOT HIS FAULT.”

Daly will need to continue that consistency, especially when every other piece of the special teams puzzle will be a new one. So while there’ll likely be a few rocky periods to 2015, expect the battery not to be the problem.

 

FUTURE POTENTIAL

It’s hard to get too colorful when discussing the upside of a long snapper, but Daly sure is a good one. If he’s interested in chasing a professional career, he’ll likely have that opportunity—his versatility and consistency will warrant a training camp invitation. He might be a good low-cost option for an NFL team to consider.

While we’ve taken it for granted, Notre Dame’s ability to hit on good scholarship specialists has been key. We’re a long way from the days of multiple kickers and punters taking scholarships because of swings and misses, like the logjam Brian Kelly inherited.

 

CRYSTAL BALL

With Yoon and Newsome returning, it should be a banner year for Notre Dame’s specialists and their kicking operation. Daly will be at his best when we don’t notice him. So consider this an endorsement for the invisible long snapper.

That should be the ultimate compliment.

 

2016’s Irish A-to-Z
Josh Adams
Josh Barajas
Alex Bars
Asmar Bilal
Hunter Bivin
Grant Blankenship
Jonathan Bonner
Ian Book
Parker Boudreaux
Miles Boykin
Justin Brent
Devin Butler
Jimmy Byrne
Daniel Cage
Chase Claypool
Nick Coleman
Te’von Coney
Shaun Crawford

Irish A-to-Z: Scott Daly

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Anonymous long-snappers are the best kind of long snappers. And for the better part of two seasons, Scott Daly was exactly that.

But when Notre Dame’s field goal battery started to go up in smoke, Daly’s role in the machine started to get a second look, definitely not the ideal for a guy who makes a living making no major mistakes.

After a rocky 2014, the Irish hope to have stabilized their battery with the move of DeShone Kizer to holder. But with rookie kicker Justin Yoon about the take over the placekicking duties and second-year punter Tyler Newsome getting his first experience, the special teams won’t lack interest.

Let’s take a closer look at the guy who starts the process.

 

SCOTT DALY
6’1.5″, 250 lbs.
Senior, No. 61, LS

 

RECRUITING PROFILE

Daly received multiple scholarship offers before choosing Notre Dame, telling you pretty much all you need to know about a roster position that is often handled by walk-ons or cross-training offensive linemen.

Daly was national long snapper of the year according to Chris Rubio and 247 had him ranked second. He chose the Irish over Northwestern and a handful of other schools that offered scholarships.

 

PLAYING CAREER

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.

Junior Season: Played in all 13 games, snapping for punts, field goals and extra points.

 

WHAT WE SAID LAST YEAR

There was no skating under the radar in 2014, though we’ll get to why we don’t think the issue was Daly’s.

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.

 

FUTURE POTENTIAL

Daly has proven himself worthy of a scholarship, especially if he spends four seasons snapping cleanly. And the fact Notre Dame’s recruiting machine includes a long-snapper in the 2016 class, they still clearly believe in Daly.

But outside of that, it’s too hard to predict if Daly will be one of the lucky few niche players who turn snapping into a long NFL career.

(Other than that, we’re talking about a long snapper. This is outside of my area of expertise, minus “good snap, bad snap,” though serving as a part-time holder in high school makes it sound like I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.)

 

CRYSTAL BALL

It’s worth noting that on Daly’s official UND.com profile, they take great pains to point out that Daly “executed quality snaps on all 52 of his point after attempts, 24 field goal attempts and 51 punts.” (Doing the math, that’s every snap.)

It’s hard to interpret that in any way other than, “NOT HIS FAULT.”

Daly will need to continue that consistency, especially when every other piece of the special teams puzzle will be a new one. So while there’ll likely be a few rocky periods to 2015, expect the battery not to be the problem.

 

THE 2015 IRISH A-to-Z
Josh Adams, RB
Josh Barajas, OLB
Nicky Baratti, S
Alex Bars, OL
Asmar Bilal, OLB
Hunter Bivin, OL
Grant Blankenship, DE
Jonathan Bonner, DE
Miles Boykin, WR
Justin Brent, WR
Greg Bryant, RB
Devin Butler, CB
Jimmy Byrne, OL
Daniel Cage, DL
Amir Carlisle, RB
Nick Coleman, DB
Te’von Coney, LB
Shaun Crawford, DB

Irish A-to-Z: Scott Daly

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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.

 

SCOTT DALY
6’1.5″, 248 lbs.
Junior, No. 61

 

RECRUITING PROFILE

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.”

 

PLAYING CAREER

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.

 

FUTURE POTENTIAL

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.

 

CRYSTAL BALL

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.

 

***

The Irish A-to-Z
Josh Atkinson
Nicky Baratti
Alex Bars
Hunter Bivin
Grant Blankenship
Jonathan Bonner
Justin Brent
Kyle Brindza
Chris Brown
Jalen Brown
Greg Bryant
Devin Butler
Jimmy Byrne
Daniel Cage
Amir Carlisle
Austin Collinsworth
Ben Councell

The Commitments: The offensive line

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Part two of our series recapping the recruiting commitments set to sign letters-of-intent with Notre Dame next Wednesday.

Often times, the most attention is heaped on the recruit that got away. That was certainly the case when Taylor Decker, a six-foot-eight, 310-pound tackle that was long pledged to the Irish flipped his commitment to Ohio State after coaches Ed Warinner and Tim Hinton did the same. After months of simmering on the back burner as the Irish’s longest tenured recruit, Decker made gigantic waves, throwing away a commitment that had lasted since early March to join Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes in the final month of recruiting.

Decker’s defection was part of a wave of negativity, coupled with Ronald Darby’s reopening of recruitment, a bad week turned on its head when the Irish were able to flip five-star quarterback Gunner Kiel the day before the spring semester started. Even without Decker, the Irish are adding two (technically three including long-snapper Scott Daly) linemen to the fold, a slender class, but one that likely won’t haunt the Irish because of their significant depth along the front line.

Let’s take a look at the three linemen the Irish will be adding next Wednesday:

RONNIE STANLEY
High School: Bishop Gorman — Las Vegas, Nevada
Measureables: Six-foot-seven, 290-pounds
Other major offers: Auburn, Cal, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Oregon, UCLA, USC
Fun Fact: Bishop Gorman will have over a dozen players in D-I football next year.
On choosing Notre Dame: “LeBron took his talents to South Beach. I’m taking my talents to South Bend.”
What he’ll bring to the offense: The top player in the state of Nevada, Stanley is another prototype tackle coming into the Irish system who will likely have some time to develop and build on an impressive frame. It’s tough to quantify how good Stanley is until we see him against legit competition, but he certainly looks the part and has a really impressive list of offers. Just as important, the Irish fought their way into Bishop Gorman to land Stanley, a school that’s been supplying the Pac-12 talent for years.

MARK HARRELL
High School: Charlotte Catholic — Charlotte, North Carolina
Measureables: Six-foot-five, 270-pounds
Other major offers: Auburn, Clemson, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee
Fun Fact: Was a fullback in middle-school until a growth spurt.
On choosing Notre Dame: “It’s an incredible academic situation there, an awesome academic school with the business program,” Harrell told Irish Illustrated. “The coaching staff, the players, the students overall, they’re all just awesome people. The football tradition can’t be beat. Notre Dame just checked all the boxes as far as that goes.”
What he’ll bring to the offense: Will join an interior of the offensive line that’ll need to replace both Trevor Robinson and Andrew Nuss, and potentially Mike Golic. Has done nothing but impress ever since coming out of nowhere at the U.S. Army All-American combine after his junior season. Built big enough to be a tackle, Harrell will start on the interior, giving the Irish a great athlete at guard.

SCOTT DALY
High School: Downers Grove South — Downers Grove, Illinois
Measureables: Six-foot-four, 230-pounds
Other major offers: Northwestern
Fun Fact: Rated No. 1 long snapper in the country by Rubio Long Snapping.
On choosing Notre Dame: “I was pretty much thinking this is a dream come true,” Daly told Irish Sports Daily. “I’ve really been waiting for Notre Dame to pull the trigger, and now that it’s finally happened, I’m still pinching myself. It’s like I said, it’s a dream come true and I’m very happy about it. I still can’t believe it.”
What he’ll bring to the offense: He’ll bring in immediate competition for Jordan Cowart, who found himself in Brian Kelly’s doghouse after breaking his hand in a scrum against Purdue, and hasn’t been able to hold down both the short and long snapping job. The Irish were actively recruiting a long snapper late last year as well (potentially another hint at their evaluation of Cowart), missing out on Bryce Haynes, who ended up at Ohio State, and was similarly ranked by Rubio Long Snapping. Daly is a perfect fit for today’s long snapper, a tall and lean athlete that can run down the field and cover punts.