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Sports anchor nearly breaks down on air in emotional tribute to Nebraska football player

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Mike Riley on loss of Sam Foltz

Local Nebraska sports anchor Kevin Sjuts was just one of the people Nebraska punter Sam Foltz touched in his time on earth. Foltz and former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler were killed in a crash in Wisconsin during a punter's camp over the weekend.

Sjuts fought through tears to deliver the news in a touching tribute to the player he considered a friend.

"To me, Sam Foltz was never an athlete. He was a tremendous human being with tremendous athletic skill," Sjuts said.

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Sjuts, who covered Foltz from the time he was in high school to his Nebraska football days, detailed a relationship that went beyond a surface level.

"This past spring, my son's first grade class had superhero week," Sjuts said, fighting back tears. "He invited two Huskers players to come to the school. One was Sam Foltz."

Foltz talked to the kids in the classroom, took endless amounts of photos and signed autographs while he was there.

"Never mind this was mid-week between weight lifting and class," Sjuts said.

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Before he left the school that day, Foltz stood in the parking lot with Sjuts, outlining his dreams for the future.

"No one knew that future would end three months later," Sjuts said.

Foltz was a three-year starter for the Nebraska football team and was entering his senior season of eligibility, the school said. In 2015, he was voted the Eddelman-Fields Big Ten Punter of the Year and was a first-team All-Big Ten selection.

Photo: AP

Sjuts closed his broadcast with a heart-wrenching, personal touch. "I am privileged to have known Sam Foltz. He was great on the field, but better off of it."

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