Scholarships don’t go out to long snappers very often, but South High (Downers Groves, Ill.) senior-to-be Scott Daly got one, and committed to Notre Dame.
So, imagine the pressure earlier this week when he attended the Irish’s camp for specialists.
“There was a little pressure at first with all the eyes on me,” the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Daly said. “But after a few minutes I felt very comfortable, very relaxed and I thought I did well.”
Daly did more than well. He was named the long snapper of the camp after displaying his uncanny ability to snap the ball quickly and with accuracy.
A very good snap takes .80 seconds to get back to the punter, and Daly obliterated that level.
“I had a good day,” he said. “I came out for the camp and I felt like I did very well, and (special teams coordinator) coach (Mike) Elston said I did a very good job, and I was pretty consistent and coach Elston clocked me at .63 on the long snaps.”
Although winning the competition was expected given his status as arguably the top long-snapper in the nation, it is still special.
“That means a lot,” Daly said. “I’ve worked very hard, and all my hard work is starting to pay off and I’ve come a long way from not being a very good long snapper.”
The trip to campus was for the camp, but it also gave Daly to check in with the staff and give the campus an even more welcome feel.
“I feel comfortable with the campus, but I talked to coach Elston, and sat in his office, and I got to talk to (assistant) coach (Chuck) Martin, and I ran into coach (Brian) Kelly and talked to him a little bit,” Daly said. “Saying hello and building that relationship is key, but I’ve been to Notre Dame so many times that it feels like home to me. I know everyone pretty well.”
What seems crazy is the amount of time before Daly will be on campus as a student. He won’t enroll for another year.
“It seems very long,” Daly said. “I’m coming in next summer. I thought about coming in early (in January), but I want to have my senior year.”