RICHMOND — Three Redskins starters are struggling with memories of former teammates killed last Saturday in a car accident in Wisconsin.
Punters Mike Sadler of Michigan State and Sam Foltz of Nebraska died in a car accident while attending the Kohl Kicking Camp. Sadler played for the Spartans from 2011-14; Foltz was entering his senior season.
Less than a week after the accident, focusing on football has been difficult, “especially when something like that happens,” guard Spencer Long said.
Long and teammate Will Compton played with Foltz at Nebraska.
“Man, Sam was such a good kid,” Compton said. “I was around him a couple years. He was young when I was there, but you could just tell. He was a funny dude. Guys enjoyed being around him. He brought a vibe to practice and everything outside of practice. He was a special man.”
When Kirk Cousins was asked about Sadler, his usual smile disappeared. Cousins and Sadler were teammates in 2011 when Cousins was a senior and Sadler a freshman.
“I was crushed when I heard about Mike’s passing,” Cousins said. “Phenomenal person, very intelligent. Brilliant. Witty. Funny. Great teammate and a great person. He was lost too soon. He was going to be going to Stanford law school this fall, from my understanding, and he was going to do great things after that.”
Punter Dustin Hopkins barely knew Sadler and didn’t know Foltz, but he attended the professional kicking camp just days before Sadler and Foltz attended theirs.
“There’s always one degree of separation when you’re a specialist, if that,” Hopkins said. “Even though I didn’t know those guys well, I know people who knew them well.”
The accident has affected the four Redskins differently, but they agree on one sentiment.
“You really sit back and at any moment, any person in your life can just be gone,” Compton said. “No matter how great of a person they are. It’s a big reality check. Let people you know close to you how much they mean to you.”
“It makes you realize what’s important,” Hopkins said. “As much as we love the game of football, ultimately your faith, friends and family and your teammates as people are what’s important, rather than the wins and losses. As much as everybody likes to win, there are so many other things that are more important in this life.”