Chris Weber Earns 2017 Sam Foltz Memorial Scholarship
By Randy York
One of Saturday’s most pivotal moments inside Memorial Stadium got lost in the shuffle of Nebraska’s 21-17 upset loss to Northern Illinois, but that does not detract from Chris Weber, a senior co-captain who earned and received the 2017 Sam Foltz Memorial Scholarship.
Weber had four tackles, including two solos and one for a loss after receiving the honor alongside his sister Lauren (left), dad Tom (back), mom Cindy (hugging her son) and wife Samantha ("Sam" far right). The photo was taken in the northwest corner of Tom Osborne Field before Saturday’s opening kickoff. A second straight close loss had to wear on everyone, including Weber, one of the smartest and most dedicated linebackers in Husker history.
“Chris looked up to Sam and was really affected by his death,” his dad told me. “He cried himself to sleep a few nights after Sam died. He even drove around in his car for more than a year with a picture of Sam and that little boy looking up at him in the Uplifting Athletes’ Fun Run as they jogged for pediatric brain cancer awareness."
The Picture on Chris Weber's Car Visor Was a Constant Reminder to Reach Out to Others in Need
“Receiving this honor was big for Chris because he wants to live his life like Sam did,” Tom Weber said. “At the end of the day, it just shows you the impact that the Foltz family has had on all of us. Sam Foltz was special, and his entire family is a great role model for all of us.”
An Elkhorn (Neb.) native, Weber has a 3.957 cumulative grade-point average and serves as president of Nebraska's Uplifting Athletes chapter. The Sam Foltz scholarship is presented annually to a football team member who embodies Foltz's traits of leadership and excellence in both the classroom and the community.
Shortly before what would have been his senior season, Foltz died in an automobile crash in July of 2016.
Gerold Foltz, Sam's dad, said it was an honor for Weber to follow Drew Brown as the second annual recipient.
“Chris is a great kid,” Gerold said. “He has fantastic character and a very bright future ahead of him as a doctor. We are still in awe of how this state and so many other states have honored Sam.”
That feedback reminds the Foltz family of fond memories. "It warms our hearts," Jill Foltz said. "Sam touched lives and his No. 27 helps motivate others.”
The Foltzes know the Webers well because both sons walked on to play football at Nebraska at the same time.
Chris earning Academic All-America accolades was the result of how hard he worked every night in study hall. Weber’s high level of academic and athletic achievement includes community outreach and demonstrating above-and-beyond leadership skills that reflect the qualities Sam so consistently showed.
An eight-time Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll honoree and a three-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar (2015, 2016 and 2017), Weber was a four-time member of both the Brook Berringer and Tom Osborne Citizenship Teams. The 2015 Nebraska Walk-On of the Year also was the 2016 George Sullivan Endowed Scholarship recipient. “If the world was full of people like Chris Weber, Drew Brown and Sam, everyone would be happy,” Gerold said.
Four Huskers among 2017 Nebraska Football Hall of Fame Honorees Saturday at Memorial Stadium
The newly inducted members of the 2017 Nebraska Football Hall of Fame class were recognized Saturday on the 20-yard line on the northwest corner of Memorial Stadium. They include four former Huskers from right above: Zac Taylor, Chad Kelsay, Randy Theiss and Donnie McGhee. Wayne State College All-American Brad Ottis is next to McGhee. Also on the field are Nebraska Football Hall of Fame president John Payne, plus Presidential Award Winner Irv Vitzer. Tom and Rhonda Reed of Lincoln were also honored, receiving the Clarence E. Swanson Meritorious Service Award.
Check out the columns on all four Huskers who were enshrined into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame:
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