Nebraska punter, former Michigan State punter die in car crash

Elite specialists were attending kicking camp in Wisconsin

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Nebraska punter Sam Foltz and former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler were killed in a car accident late Saturday night while attending a kicking camp near Waukesha, Wis., Nebraska officials disclosed Sunday afternoon. Foltz was 22 and Sadler was 24.

“(Saturday) night, we lost one of the best young men who I have ever had the honor to coach and who has ever worn the Nebraska uniform,” Nebraska Coach Mike Riley said in a statement. “Sam was universally loved and respected by everyone he touched and on whom he had a positive influence each and every day. 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.”

According to the Omaha World-Herald, Sadler was the driver of a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed when it lost control on wet pavement. The vehicle left the road and struck a tree about 11:45 p.m., the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office told the World-Herald. It was on fire when authorities reached the scene.

Both Foltz and Sadler were pronounced dead at the scene. LSU kicker Colby J. Delahoussaye also was in the vehicle and suffered minor injuries in the collision, LSU officials said Sunday.

Foltz, a Grand Island, Neb., native, led the Big Ten in punting last year with a 44.2 yard-per-punt average. He was named the Eddelman-Fields Big Ten Punter of the Year and a first-team All-Big Ten selection. Foltz, a three-year starter, earned a degree in agronomy in May.

Sadler was a four-year starting punter at Michigan State from 2011-2014. Among MSU punters he ranks second in punts, punting yards and sixth in punt yardage. He was a first-team all-Big Ten selection in 2013, a four-time academic All-American and planned to attend Stanford Law School this fall.

Riley and three Nebraska players were scheduled to participate in Big Ten Media Days on Monday but they will not attend.

“Our prayers of love and support go out to Sam’s family during this difficult time and we will do all that we can to help comfort them in this time of sadness,” Nebraska Athletics Director Shawn Eichorst said in a statement. “Sam was truly a tremendous young man, who represented everything that a Nebraska student, athlete, teammate and friend should strive to be. While his loss is devastating, his impact will be felt forever. Along with Coach Riley, our focus is on providing Sam’s family, teammates and friends with the critical support and love that they need at this time.”

l Comments: (319) 339-3169; scott.dochterman@thegazette.com

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