Tragic Throws Ex-Washougal Punter in the Spotlight
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska's Caleb Lightbourn has taken the punting job he didn't want yet and run with it.
Lightbourn expected to spend this season as the understudy to one of the nation's best punters in Sam Foltz. But Foltz was killed in a car crash in Wisconsin in July, and Lightbourn was named his successor following a five-day competition in preseason practice.
After up-and-down performances the first two games, Lightbourn was named Big Ten freshman of the week for shutting down Oregon's powerful return game in last week's 35-32 victory in Lincoln.
"You could always see the upside with this kid," special teams coach Bruce Read said. "I thought if we could play him, he could get better and better. He has a great mindset, he's a very determined young man, he's a pretty mature kid. He does a nice job of being able to focus and block out the distractions."
Foltz was another in a long line of small-town kids who walked on at Nebraska and made it big. He was beloved by fans, and his death continues to be mourned statewide and throughout the college football community.
Lightbourn, from Washougal, Washington, is the first Nebraska punter since 1995 to come in on scholarship, so there were going to be high expectations no matter when he made his debut.