(WYMT/CBS Sports/WKYT) - Jared Lorenzen, record-setting quarterback for the University of Kentucky and a member of the UK Athletics Hall of Fame, passed away Wednesday as announced by his family.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of Jared Lorenzen’s passing,” said Mitch Barnhart, UK Director of Athletics. “Jared was a uniquely gifted player who endeared himself to the Big Blue Nation with his passion for the game and his incredible talent. More importantly, he was a true Wildcat and a man whose love for the University of Kentucky was plain to see well after his playing days were over. That love was surpassed only by the love he had for his two children. We offer our support and condolences to them, as well as all of Jared’s family and friends.”
A four-year starter for the Wildcats from 2000-03, Lorenzen was one of the most prolific quarterbacks in college football history. He played two seasons in the National Football League and, following his NFL days, returned to live in Kentucky. He remained in the public eye through frequent appearances in the media.
“We are heartbroken for Jared’s family and friends,” Coach Mark Stoops said. “Since I’ve been here, it has been obvious that he was one of the most popular players in school history. He was a proud member of the Kentucky football family and he will be greatly missed by the Big Blue Nation.”
Lorenzen enrolled at UK in the fall of 1999. He redshirted the ‘99 season, then was a four-year starter. As a freshman in Coach Hal Mumme’s “Air Raid” offense, he completed 321 of 559 passes for 3,687 yards and 19 touchdowns, setting six NCAA records and several more Southeastern Conference and UK records in the process. He was named SEC Co-Freshman of the Year by the Knoxville News-Sentinel
A native of Covington, Kentucky, Lorenzen was an All-American and won four state player of the year awards – including “Mr. Football” – as a senior at Highlands High School in Fort Thomas, Ky. He led Highlands to the 1998 Class AAA state championship. Also an outstanding basketball player, he helped lead Highlands to three appearances in the “Sweet 16” state tournament..
Highlands High School, where Lorenzen played his high school football, released a statement on Lorenzen:
The Fort Thomas Independent School district sends our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and community that surround Jared Lorenzen.
“This is a big loss for our school and community,” said Matt Bertasso, Highlands High School Principal. “Jared represented Highlands with skill, grace and professionalism from his time at here and into college and professional career. He’ll always be a Bluebird.
"We’re shocked and saddened by the loss of one of our most distinguished alumni. Jared was an incredible talent and better person. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and children, Taylar and Tayden,” said Athletic Director, Kevin Nieporte. “Our school and community will always be here for you.”
"He was gregarious. He went out and sought the fans and sought the people and not in a 'I need to be the center of the limelight kind of way', but in a 'I want to go make somebody's day,'" said former UK basketball player Cameron Mills.
"Coach Brooks came in and I think it took about one play that first game in 2003 for him to realize 'OK. I don't care what kind of shape he's in, this guy makes plays," said Tom Leach, Voice of the Wildcats.
"Jared had a unique arm. There wasn't a lot of people that could throw as hard as Jared could, and find like you said those slivers, Dick, and he made it happen. and he could float some deep ones too," said former UK football player Derek Abney.
Jared will be inducted into our school’s Athletic Hall of Fame this fall, in his first year of eligibility.
He was a special person and we are incredibly lucky to have known him."
Lorenzen was a member the New York Giants from 2004-07. He was a backup QB behind Eli Manning and appeared in two games in each of the 2006 and ’07 seasons. He was a member of the Giants team that defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII on Feb. 3, 2008.
Following his NFL career, Lorenzen returned to Kentucky. He played for multiple indoor football teams before retiring from the game in 2013. He was elected to the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015. He worked as a businessman and owned a T-shirt company along with his time spent in the media. He had two children, daughter Taylar and son Tayden.