LEXINGTON — Former Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen died Wednesday at age 38 after he was admitted to the hospital with serious medical issues less than a week ago.
“It is with heavy hearts that the family of Jared Lorenzen, would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation for all of your support and prayers over the past six days,” the family said in a statement. “We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Jared today (July 3, 2019). We appreciate all of the warm wishes and prayers but as a family, we would request your privacy. We will offer arrangement information in the coming days. Please keep Jared’s family, especially his children, in your thoughts and prayers.”
Kentucky Sports Radio founder Matt Jones said Lorenzen “was one of the finest people I have ever known.”
“(He was) a better person than a player,” Jones tweeted. “He was a huge part of our KSR family and an even larger part of the BBN family. My heart is broken for his family and friends. God bless the soul of our amazing friend.”
Former Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown, the head coach at West Virginia, was saddened to hear of Lorenzen's passing.
"A friend and former teammate that is gone way too soon," he said in a tweet. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, especially his children. Jared was a great athlete but also a wonderful personality. Very sad day for Kentucky."
Lorenzen played at Kentucky from 2000 to 2003 and threw for a school record 10,354 yards. He later played for the New York Giants and was the backup signal caller on the 2008 squad that won the Super Bowl.
“Jared was a great teammate and friend," Giants quarterback Eli Manning said in a tweet. "We competed against each other in college and came to the Giants together. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I will always remember his competitive spirit and his good nature. Jared has left us all way too soon.”
While at Kentucky, Lorenzen, a left-handed quarterback, played for three different coaches — Hal Mumme, Guy Morriss and Rich Brooks.
Lorenzen had been battling weight problems for years. In an article posted on the USA Today website, he revealed that he had exceeded 500 pounds in 2017, when he enlisted the help of a trainer and nutritionist to help him lose weight.
He began producing YouTube videos about his weight loss project and reportedly dropped 100 pounds during the first year. But the statement released by his family said: “Jared had not been feeling well for a few weeks and that finally caught up with him.”
Lorenzen was named Mr. Football after his senior season at Highlands in 1998. At that time, the left-handed quarterback held team passing records in career yardage (6,821), career touchdowns (89), single-season yardage (3,392) and single-season touchdowns (45).
Lorenzen retired from football after getting injured playing quarterback for the Northern Kentucky River Monsters arena team that he started.