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UK Football Great Jared Lorenzen Dies At 38

UK Athletics

Jared Lorenzen, a husky left-handed quarterback who set multiple Kentucky passing and offensive records before backing up Eli Manning on the New York Giants' Super Bowl-winning 2007 team, has died. He was 38.

A release from the school said Lorenzen's family announced his death on Wednesday, but did not specify a cause or where he died. Kentucky Sports Radio founder Matt Jones tweeted a statement from Lorenzen's family announcing his passing.

Popular around Lexington for his outgoing personality, Lorenzen was listed at 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds his senior season and known by several nicknames including "The Hefty Lefty." The Covington, Kentucky, native holds school records including 10,637 offensive yards on 1,793 plays from 2000-03. He also tops UK passing marks for yards (10,354) and attempts (1,514), including a record 321 throws in 2000.

A member of the New York Giants from 2004-07, Lorenzen was on the squad that upset unbeaten New England 17-14 in Super Bowl 42 in 2008.

The Giants tweeted that Lorenzen "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."

Lorenzen was elected to the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015. Athletic director Mitch Barnhart said "We are deeply saddened to learn of Jared Lorenzen's passing" in a statement and added, "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."

Lorenzen played with the Northern Kentucky River Monsters among several indoor teams before retiring in 2013.

From UK Athletics:

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.”

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.

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.

After Mumme’s departure, Lorenzen played for Coach Guy Morriss the next two seasons. He led UK to a 7-5 record in 2002 as he threw for 2,267 yards and 24 touchdowns with only five interceptions. He played under Coach Rich Brooks as a senior, throwing for 2,221 yards and 16 TDs. 

Lorenzen’s career statistics featured 862 completions in 1,514 pass attempts (56.9 percent) for 10,354 yards and 78 touchdowns. An adept scrambler when necessary, he also ran for 12 touchdowns and accounted for 90 total TDs as a Wildcat. At the completion of his collegiate career, he had broken six NCAA records, four SEC records and 11 UK records.

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.