— Sam Foltz (@samfoltz27) July 19, 2016
Sam Foltz, who tragically passed on Sunday, embodied everything that’s right in this world.
For me, the first thing I’d think of was his authenticity.
That’s a weird thing to remember about a man who was twice placed on the Ray Guy Award Watch List (2015, 2016) and was recognized as the Eddelman-Fields Big Ten Punter of the Year (2015). Sam Foltz, who tragically passed away Sunday in an automobile accident, was one of the most genuine, authentic and caring human beings one could ever imagine.
Foltz was a standout both on-the-field and off of it. He was a three-year starting punter for the Nebraska Huskers, and was expected to be one of college football’s best players in 2016. He was also an exemplary human being, notching the Nebraska Student-Athlete HERO Leadership Award (2016) as well as a spot on both the Brook Berringer and Tom Osbourne Citizenship teams.
The HERO award recognizes “exceptional leadership, consistent and dedicated community service and positive influence on the team,” according to the Cornhuskers’ website.
People will remember him as every single one of those things.
Many will often forget the human side of sports. People will refuse to sympathize with athletes, because, well… they’re seemingly “entitled” to their fame and prestige.
For "Superhero Week," my son invited two Husker football players to join him in class. One was Sam Foltz. pic.twitter.com/bzH4MSkIBr
— Kevin Sjuts (@kevinsjuts) July 24, 2016
— Shawn Eichorst (@BigRedAD) 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 everything that is good about college athletics. More than that. He was everything that was good in people. I'm heartbroken.
— Robin Washut (@RobinWashut) July 24, 2016
Saddened to hear the news about Sam. Such a great person and role model too many. You'll be truly missed buddy.
— Rex Burkhead (@RBrex2022) July 24, 2016
But Foltz dispelled those rumors in a tweet more than a week ago, when he explained how he was a walk-on who wasn’t recruited. His Twitter bio reads “Dream Big, Work Hard, Stay Humble,” and that’s exactly what he did.
I will remember Sam as one of the good guys; someone who used his fame and prestige to help those less fortunate than him. His now-viral tweet of him running for charity with the caption “You never know who’s watching.. What impact do you wanna leave on the next generation to aspire too?! #DreamBig” exemplifies everything that Foltz stood for.
“Sam was universally loved and respected by everyone he touched and on whom he had a positive influence each and every day,” football coach Mike Riley said. “His tragic loss is immeasurable to his family, his friends, his classmates, his teammates and his coaches, and our thoughts and prayers are with all of them. The young men in our football program are hurting but I know that their strength of character and resolve will bring us together and we will honor Sam every day moving forward.”
We’d like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of Sam Foltz and Mike Sadler. The world is a bleaker place without them.