Huskers Remember Legacy of Foltz with Memorial
By Brian Rosenthal / Huskers.com
Anybody who knew Sam Foltz will proudly rave about his outstanding character, his captivating leadership, his unyielding work ethic, his humility, his positive, even-keel attitude and, above all, his friendship.
These qualities represent everything positive about representing Nebraska as a student-athlete, and Foltz did so with class, dignity and honor. His legacy will live forever within the hearts and minds of Nebraska players, coaches, administration and fans.
“This young man was loved by all and represented everything that was right with the world,” Nebraska Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst said.
On Friday, the Nebraska Athletics Department commemorated the life of Sam Foltz by unveiling a memorial plaque that will hang in the west hallway outside the football team’s locker room.
Among the final impressions on players as they begin the famous Tunnel Walk will be a picture of a smiling Foltz, posing in his No. 27 uniform. The layout is adjacent to a revamped mural for the Husker Prayer Wall, which will feature newer images and crisper graphics.
The introduction of the memorial plaque comes two days before the first anniversary of the tragic automobile accident near Waukesha, Wisconsin, that claimed the life of Foltz and Michigan State punter Mike Sadler.
“We wanted a way to remember Sam permanently in a venue that would be appropriate and meaningful, not just to the current team but also to future teams and everybody involved with the program and the public,” Nebraska Executive Associate Athletic Director Steve Waterfield said. “We think this is a great way to do that.”
Foltz, from Greeley, Nebraska, and a graduate of Grand Island High School, was the 2015 Eddelman-Fields Big Ten Punter of the Year and earned his degree in agronomy from Nebraska in May of 2016. A five-time Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll selection, he made the Brook Berringer and Tom Osborne Citizenship teams.
The plaque, placed below the “No. 27 SF” logo that’s become popular, will include names of recipients of the annual Sam Foltz Memorial Scholarship. The first name on the plaque is senior kicker Drew Brown, one of Foltz’s closest friends, who earned the inaugural scholarship last season.
A biography and list of Foltz’s many honors and achievements highlight the memorial plaque. Also included is a list of qualifications to be a candidate for the Sam Foltz Memorial Scholarship. The award goes to a football player who must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 and have been a previous member of the Brook Berringer Citizenship Team.
The recipient must also reflect leadership qualities that Foltz demonstrated. Student-athletes who graduated from Nebraska high schools will strongly be considered, as will those who were recipients of the Sam Foltz Hero 27 Leadership Award.
Fans can view the new permanent memorial as part of normal scheduled tours of Memorial Stadium. This plaque will replace the temporary Foltz memorial, outside the northwest corner of the stadium.
The outdoor mural, a collage of Foltz pictures, will remain standing through July 28, so fans can visit and leave mementos on Sunday’s anniversary, if they so wish. Benches, flowers and landscaping will replace the temporary outdoor memorial. Waterfield said the athletics department has offered the mural to the Foltz family.
As a somber anniversary date approaches, Sam’s parents, Gerald and Jill Foltz, are in Whitewater, Wisconsin, attending the Kohl’s Professional Elite Kicking Camp that Sam attended last year on the weekend of his death. The camp will be handing out two special awards to future college kickers, one named for Sam Foltz, the other for Mike Sadler.
Reach Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @GBRosenthal.