For Dailey, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound four-star linebacker from Massillon, Ohio, this past Independence Day was different for him compared many other people. Instead of taking the day off, Dailey went to work at his job at a golf course. Instead of taking it easy, Dailey was busy in the hot sun, paying his dues by cleaning golf carts.
In a way, it is a microcosm of the way Dailey operates, the way he carries himself.
No sense of entitlement. Just hard work.
Andrew, he's very focused on what he wants to do, Dailey's mother Natalie said. He's very focused with his ability.
Dailey's father, Ted, echoed those sentiments about his son.
Andrew's a good kid, he said. He works real hard at everything he does.
Ted and Natalie are not just giving lip service to boost the ego of their son. After all, all parents think their children work hard. Still, Dailey's hard work needs to be put into context to show just how focused and determined he is to strive for excellence both on and off the field.
As an example, Dailey recently visited Penn State for camp. It was his second trip to Happy Valley, the first being a few months earlier at junior day when he received his written offer from the Nittany Lions. All things considered, Dailey had nothing to prove as he already had his written offer. Instead, Dailey took part in every drill.
He went to the camp and worked out with them, Ted said. The coaches said that the other kids get an offer and just hang out [at the Nike camp]. [Andrew] went to work out. [The Penn State coaches] really respected that. That's the kind of work ethic he has. He wasn't afraid to go out and not perform well. He wanted to work for the coaches.
Dailey did not drive from Ohio to Penn State to take part in a social hour. He wanted to compete. He wanted to become more familiar with the coaching staff at Penn State.
That was important to me because I wanted to work with the linebacker coach and spend as much time with him as possible, Dailey said. There is no point in me just watching. When I got there I got to work with [Coach Vanderlinden] one-on-one, and I had a great time with him. It helped Penn State and it helped me to figure out that Penn State could be a good place for me.
It is not just football where Dailey displays his work ethic and talents. He is also very involved and invested in his community.
He likes to help out with the little kids at football camps and in the community, Ted said. We had a young kid here who is about 8 years old who had leukemia for the last few years. Andrew and the other football players would spend the day with him.
Dailey is also an alter server at his church, sits on his high school's student counsel and is a member of Obie's Friends, an organization that gives presentations to middle school students about the importance of not drinking and not taking drugs.
We go to the middle school and talk to the students about not drinking and not doing drugs, Dailey said. We do that once month. I try to set a good example because there are too many athletes that have all the talent in the world and mess up for not doing the right thing. I try to be a good role model.
Dailey is also humble. He has taken his recruitment in stride because he recognizes that with the attention and notoriety he has received as a result of his talents comes great responsibility.
When he got offered by Florida, you would think that he'd be telling people, Natalie said. He didn't tell anyone. We made him call his coach. He's never been a showboat and I think that's why the town loves him. He's just very easy, a respectful kid.
Ironically, a year ago, Dailey's interest in Penn State was minimal. He hadn't really thought much one way or the other about the Nittany Lions. However, since his junior year, Dailey has taken two trips to Happy Valley.
I actually didn't know really much about them at all, Dailey said. I never really considered going to Penn State, but our equipment manager, his son went there and they go to four or five games. I sent out film before the junior day and they offered me when I got there. I just fell in love with that. I didn't know what to expect. It's so family oriented, the coaching staff has been together so long. Coach [Joe] Paterno sends chills down your back. To see them turn their program around; I'd like to be a part of something like that.
But Dailey is not ready to make a decision quite yet. He is methodically taking his time to research schools and ultimately come to the best decision for him. As Dailey said, he is doing his homework.
[Penn State] is probably the top notch, every visit I've had there, they spend a lot of time with me, Dailey said. I get some one-on-one conversation. [Penn State] is probably the top right now, but I want to take my time right now. My plan is to commit before the season, but if something comes up and I can't because I go look at another school and say this is another contender, it could play all the way out until after the season. I wouldn't say that right now I'd be for sure ready to commit right now. I'm doing my homework.
Dailey said that two schools, Notre Dame and Michigan, may extend him written offers shortly, even as early as this week. If those schools were to offer, they would add to a list of schools that have extended a written offer to Dailey, including Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin, Bowling Green, Akron, Kent State, Penn State, and Florida.
It appears that [Notre Dame] will, but I think they're just trying to work out my grades, Dailey said. I have an 18 ACT and a 3.1 GPA, I think they can make it work, but that's what they're concerned about. They've always been a pretty top school that I've looked at. The tradition there is great and the academics are always great. I'm thinking that it's going toward an offer, but I'm waiting to find out.