A Mother's Words – Marianne Daly Part II

We finish our conversation with Marianne Daly, mother of Notre Dame pledge Scott Daly.

Click here for Part I

Kelly Right Man for the Job…

For Marianne Daly, her first meeting with Irish head coach Brian Kelly forged the belief the Daly family has in the Notre Dame head coach: that he'll do right for their son.

"I just fell in love with him," Daly said of Kelly. "I just love Brian Kelly. Scott and I were in (Alabama head coach) Nick Saban's office and I never got that warm fuzzy feeling from him as I did Brian Kelly.

"The first time I walked into Brian Kelly's office and stuck out my hand like I had for any other coach I met, his arms went out to embrace me and hug me. He never shook my hand, he hugged me and every time I've seen him since he gives me a hug."

Even when Kelly was perceived as a yeller and screamer, Daly saw the conviction and desire for greatness Kelly has for his players and the Irish program.

"What football coach doesn't get on these kids," asked Daly. "He has such a passion for Notre Dame and for those guys. He just wants and knows they can do better. I've never had second doubts that he wasn't the best coach in the country to coach my son. Never! It's been wonderful getting to know him and I think he's a great guy."

Heart & Soul Won Over

While Marianne found the embrace of Brian Kelly to her liking, it was assistant coach Mike Elston that won her heart and soul.

"I think Mike Elston is just an incredible guy," said Daly about the Irish special teams coordinator (and defensive line coach). "We are one of the luckiest families to walk this earth. I can't even tell you what I feel about Coach Elston and about the conversations we've had.

"I've been given the opportunity to meet his girls, his wife, and he seems like me. He's just a loving parent, only he's a Notre Dame football coach. He's a great guy, great guy."

Those Who Doubt…

Fans love to follow the latest news involving the Irish recruiting efforts. Has Marianne joined in checking for the latest news involving her son's future team?

"I do," she stressed. "Now I do more than I ever have because of the recruiting process and because of Scott."

However, as Marianne was quick to learn, some didn't share in her excitement of the Irish giving a full scholarship to a long snapper. How did she take the comments she read online?

"It made me think of the following quote: 'People only rain on your parade because they don't have their own.' That is what it makes me think of," Daly offered.

"Scott has worked harder than anybody has seen. He goes to this conditioning place and when he first started going two years ago he took a group of his friends. Now he's the only one that still goes there because they all say it's too hard.

"Scott has worked his butt off to get to the place he's at right now. So I think he deserves every bit of it. I've seen enough football games lost because of bad snaps. The kick that goes through to win the game, it started with the snap. We've seen it enough times especially these past seasons. Even in the pros it happens. Look what happened to (Chicago Bears long-snapper) Patrick Mannelly when he got hurt, and they put another guy in who couldn't get the ball 15-yards. Is that worth a scholarship? It is when you can't do it (otherwise)."

Tears Soon to Flow…

Asked to look into the future when her son takes the field for the first time wearing his Irish uniform, Marianne had to stop and compose herself before going into detail the myriad thoughts that will go through her head, and the plans the family has taken to make sure they see it.

"My God, just asking me that question I'm almost in tears," Daly said pausing for a moment. "It will mean the world to me. When we were at the awards banquet at Notre Dame the parent's video they played said it all.

"Scott is my hero and I can't even describe how I'm going to react because I'm so excited. I had trouble walking through that tunnel; I can't imagine when I see him running through that tunnel for the first time."

With the Irish opening the 2012 season in Ireland, the Daly family has already taken steps to make sure they are on the Emerald Isle to see Scott in his first official game.

"I'm just so proud of him and can't wait to go see the first game in Dublin," said Daly. "We're making arrangements now trying to get our air tickets and get that all planned. Scott's (paternal) grandfather is from Gulley and he's getting everything in order over there, and getting everybody all situated for a family reunion, and it's all for Scott and all for Notre Dame. They've never been to a Notre Dame game and all my husbands' cousins are coming, and we're all going to see Scott."

However, it will be when the Irish return to Notre Dame Stadium the emotions may get the best of her.

"The (South Bend) tunnel is going to be the best," said Daly. "When he comes running through it with that gold helmet, I think it's what every parent wishes/hopes for -- their son to be happy. I don't think anything could make him happier because this is his dream and its coming true."

Note: Irisheyes.com would like to thank Marianne for taking the time to allow us to learn more about her son and their experience during the recruiting process.

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