One of the greatest UK football legends passed away on this day one year ago.
Native Kentuckian and former UK quarterback Jared Lorenzen tragically passed away on July 3, 2019 at 38 years old. The record-setting Kentucky quarterback that played for the Cats from 2000-03 held the hearts of so many while he played at UK and as an active fan of the Cats around Lexington after his career in the NFL ended.
Since I was just born in 2000, I do not recollect watching Lorenzen pratically perform magic with the football at Kentucky, but I have watched (even though they do not do his career justice) A LOT of highlight videos from the past of the one they called many nicknames, most notably “Hefty Lefty.” I also followed him on Twitter and listened to his analysis of the Cats on the KSR Football Podcast as he often provided insight while also seeming so joyful.
Even without having any memory of Lorenzen playing, all I had to do was go to YouTube and watch those great highlight videos to see how special of a player he really was. My favorite play of all the highlights of Lorenzen’s career at Kentucky had to be the play against Georgia when the “Hefty Lefty” threw the ball behind his back as he evaded pressure and miraculously completed it to his wide receiver.
That play is the first one in the highlight video of Lorenzen’s career at UK from Kentucky Wildcats TV:
Lorenzen still holds the UK football record for career total offensive yards (10, 637) and also career passing yards (10,354). He was elected into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.
In his two-season career (2006-07) in the NFL as a backup quarterback for the New York Giants, Lorenzen earned a Super Bowl ring in 2007 as the Giants defeated New England 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII. Although his NFL career was short, the Giants still viewed Lorenzen as a valuable member to the team as they mention in a heartfelt post after his death:
Statement from #NYGiants:
Jared was a special person, and a beloved Giant. He was an important member of our 2007 team, one that created its own destiny. Our thoughts are with Jared’s family and friends who loved and appreciated him so much, just as our organization and fans did. pic.twitter.com/z6TLw8WeO2
— New York Giants (@Giants) July 3, 2019
While I never will be able to recall watching Jared Lorenzen, his highlights will always serve as a reminder to me as to how good of a player he truly was. Also even though I did not know him personally, his genuine affection for UK fans around Lexington and across the state will always be a reminder to me as to how special of a person he really was.
Rest in peace, Jared.