Nearly 20 former Huskers took part in an event Friday honoring Sam Foltz

Originally posted July 16, 2021 on Husker Online. Written by Sean Callahan, Husker Online Publisher

GREELEY, Neb. – Less than seven days from now nationally renowned kicking coach Jamie Kohl will begin his “Super Week” as he calls it.

Kohl will work with around 20 NFL starting specialists for two days in Gatlinburg, Tenn., then every top college specialist will join him before he runs his high school camp that features the top kickers and punters in the country.

On Friday, Kohl found himself in Greeley, Neb. on a small patch of grass surrounded by cornfields and a set of goalposts that were welded together on Thursday. This week marks the five-year anniversary of the tragic death of Nebraska punter Sam Foltz and Michigan State punter Mike Sadler. The two were killed in a car accident on a rainy night in Wisconsin while working as counselors at Kohl’s Kicking Camp.

It’s a day Kohl will never forget. On Friday, Kohl took his operation up to Greeley, the home of Foltz. The event was put on by the Foltz family and featured nearly 20 former Husker players and over 250 spectators and participants. The town of Greeley has a population of just 339.

“This was kind of a unique situation,” Kohl said. “We didn’t know how many people were going to be here, and the community really came out and supported Sam. Hopefully, a couple of kids can take a few things they learned and work on them.”

To this day, Kohl has kept a close relationship with the Foltz family. In fact, when Kohl’s son J.J. Kohl took part in Nebraska’s seven-on-seven camp in June, the Foltz family was with him watching the entire day.

“Five years ago was probably the worst day of my life, quite frankly,” Kohl said. “The world lost just an outstanding person. Sam’s legacy is still strong, and that’s a testament to him and all that he accomplished in his short time on earth.”

The list of former Huskers in Greeley on Friday also ran very deep. Brett Maher, Nate Gerry, Spencer Lindsay, Ryker Fyfe, Steve Kriewald, Mick Stoltenberg, Dylan Utter, Sam Hahn, Brad Simpson, Zach Sterup, Josh Banderas, Brandon Reilly, Cole Pensick, Dan Pensick, Harrison Jordan, Pat Smith and MattJarzynka all took part in the event.

For guys like Gerry, who are getting ready for another season in the NFL, it was an easy decision to take some time to get up to Greeley on Friday.

“When you think of Nebraska football you think of guys like Sam Foltz,” Gerry said. “He’s the epitome of what everybody wants out of Nebraska football.

“Still to this day in the league when I’m walking around the field people bring up Sam’s name to me. A lot of the special teams coaches ask me a lot about him or tell me a lot about him.”

Guys like Lindsay and Maher plan to continue the tradition of hosting a Central Nebraska-based kicking and punting camp in the honor of Foltz.

If one thing is certain, a lot has happened in the world over the last five years, but the impact Foltz had on so many still remains strong to this day.

“I firmly believe, through our scouting services and just talking to NFL teams, Sam would have been the first guy drafted his senior year and would probably be going on to his second contract in the NFL,” Kohl said. “He was different. He was very, very good. He was a great athlete that took to the mechanics of punting. Normally, somebody who is athletic as him is a field player and not as focused on being a great specialist, and that’s why he was so special.”