Matt Cashore /

ND A to Z: Scott Daly

Daly was perfect on all 126 of his snapping opportunities in 2015. He’s been Notre Dame’s starter since 2013 following the successful stint of Jordan Cowart.

Daly was named national high school long-snapper of the year in 2011 as the inaugural winner of the Herbalife 24 Chris Rubio Award. Scout ranked him as the No. 1 long-snapper in the nation.

Daly, in addition to his long-snapping duties, played tight end for Downers Grove (Ill.) South High School, which went 10-2 during his senior season. He was named all-conference tight end during his junior season with the Mustangs.

He preserved a year of eligibility as a freshman at Notre Dame behind Jordan Cowart in 2012, and then emerged as the starter in 2013. He has been Notre Dame’s long-snapper for each of the last 39 games.

You continue to notice Daly only when he makes a tackle following another one of his accurate snaps. Daly was perfect on all 126 snapping opportunities in 2015, including 52 extra points, 17 field-goal attempts and 57 punts. He has three tackles in his career and one fumble recovery.

The words “kicking operation” are mentioned by Irish head coach Brian Kelly in a press conference. That means something amiss has happened from snap to placement to kick. Fortunately for Daly, he has not been at the center of such discussions when the kicking operation has come up in the past, namely, 2014 when holders Hunter Smith and Malik Zaire were at the forefront of the problems.

Daly has followed in the line of snapping specialists at Notre Dame. Before him was Jordan Cowart. The most well known of the Irish long-snappers is J.J. Jansen, who has been in the NFL since 2008, first with the Green Bay Packers and then the Carolina Panthers, where he was chosen for the 2014 Pro Bowl and snapped in last year’s Super Bowl.

After being chosen as Scout’s No. 1 long-snapper in the country, Daly preserved a year of eligibility as a true freshman and has been Notre Dame’s snapper each of the last three seasons, more than living up to his projected status.

Daly recovered a muffed punt last year at the Boston College four-yard line in Notre Dame’s 19-16 victory over the Eagles in Fenway Park. He also made his first tackle since 2013 in Notre Dame’s 24-20 victory over Temple.

“Starting in fifth grade when I first played football, I was the only kid that could throw the ball back there halfway decent enough. I really didn’t think much of it at first, but starting my sophomore year of high school, my coach came up to me and said, ‘Hey, you have a raw talent. You can play college football if you really want to.’”
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