Nebraska senior punter Sam Foltz died in a car accident in Wisconsin overnight, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. Former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler was also in the car and died in the accident.
Mike Riley statement on Sam Foltz: "Sam was universally loved and respected by everyone he touched and on whom he had a positive influence."
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) July 24, 2016
The 22-year-old punter was attending a punter’s camp in Wisconsin. He was reportedly on his way home when he was killed. The Greeley, Nebraska native grew up on a farm and started college as a walk-on. He eventually worked his way up to becoming one of the better punters in college football.
He was known by teammates, local media and fans as a humble guy who worked very hard to get as far as he did.
Sam Foltz represented every Nebraska boy's dream. Grow up in a small town, walk on and become a star. An inspiration and role model. #RIP27
— Tommy Rezac (@TJMRezac) July 24, 2016
Sam Foltz, to anyone who knew him and covered him, was a special kind of person. The tributes from his teammates will speak to that.
— Brian Christopherson (@HuskerExtraBC) July 24, 2016
Sam Foltz was a farm boy that grew up in Greeley and followed his dreams. He was a modern day Brook Berringer with how he carried himself.
— Sean Callahan (@Sean_Callahan) July 24, 2016
Foltz, entering his senior season, was one of 27 punters named to the Ray Guy Award watch list for the 2016 season. He was also one of only two punters in the Big Ten conference named to the list.
“I am humbled to be put in this position now its time to get out on the field with the bright lights on and just try to get this team a championship,” he said to local media after the award watch list was released.
He was the Big Ten punter of the year in 2015. He also was named to the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll five times.
Foltz averaged 44.2 yards per punt in 2015, including 45.0 yards per boot in conference games. He has a career average of 42.6 yards per punt and totaled 50 career punts of 50 yards or more.