Photo by Jonathan Ray
Kentucky Football

A Tribute to Jared Lorenzen, A Kentucky Legend

July 4, 2019

Yesterday was a sad day for all of the Big Blue Nation and football fans across the world. Jared Lorenzen passed away after losing a fight to undisclosed health issues. Lorenzen, a Covington, Kentucky native, was 38 years too young. The former Wildcat and New York Giant will forever be remembered as one of the most extravagant, unique quarterbacks of all time. 

We at Big Blue Banter would like to send our thoughts and prayers to Lorenzen’s family in this tough time, especially his two children, daughter Taylar and son Tayden.

As a two-sport high school athlete, Lorenzen helped Highlands of Fort Thomas, Kentucky in both football and basketball. But after the All-American led Highlands to a state championship in 1998 and won “Mr. Football”, it was clear where Lorenzen’s future was headed. 

He enrolled to the University of Kentucky, and after redshirting in 1999, Lorenzen became a four-year starter for the Wildcats. At 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds, the world of football had never seen a quarterback quite like Lorenzen. If his size at the position wasn’t impressive enough, his rocket left arm was also unorthodox for a quarterback. As a Wildcat, he proceeded to succeed and break records while doing it, and he also made some nicknames along the way like ‘Hefty Lefty’ and ‘Pillsbury Throwboy’. 

In his Freshman season, the Hefty Lefty managed to throw for a career-high 3,687 yards in Hal Mumme’s infamous air raid offense. He played in multiple memorable games, one of the most was the seven-overtime loss to Arkansas at home in 2003. Lorenzen threw for a total of 326 yards for two touchdowns and one interception, he also had three rushing touchdowns, which made him responsible for over half of the Wildcats points in that game. He finished his career throwing for 10,354 yards and 78 touchdowns, while completing 57% of his passes.

Lorenzen is Kentucky’s career passing yards leader and ranks second in career touchdown passes. 

After his college career, Lorenzen was signed as an undrafted free agent to the New York Giants, where he spent three seasons as a back up to Eli Manning. In 2007, Lorenzen was the backup quarterback as the Giants defeated the New England Patriots 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII. Manning escaped from the pocket late in the game to hit David Tyree for the infamous helmet catch. Manning credited Lorenzen’s help in practice on that particular play in a cool video below. 

The Hefty Lefty made many memorable moments on the football field, but it is off the field where he stood out the most. He impacted the world in a positive way. As Lorenzen became a true icon in the Commonwealth, his life story will always be a true inspiration. Despite any odds stacked against him, Lorenzen always gave his all and fought, even down to his final days. 

When you see that number 22, it really is hard to picture anyone else. If there was one thing we all knew about Mr. Lorenzen, it was that he always did and always will bleed blue. As the world lost a Kentucky Hall of Famer and legend yesterday, Heaven gained a beautiful angel. One that will never be forgotten. 



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A Tribute to Jared Lorenzen, A Kentucky Legend

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