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The Loss of a Kentucky Icon
On July 3rd at 4:13pm, Matt Jones of KSR tweeted out a post that no one ever wanted to see, Kentucky football legend and hero to so many, Jared Lorenzen, had passed away. This was like a shot right at the heart of the Big Blue Nation, and to anyone that Jared had crossed paths with. The outpouring of tweets, TV and radio spots, and general support was amazing to see. Not just in the Commonwealth, but nationally. Jared was a special person that touched a lot of lives.
I live in Chattanooga, TN and while I was out the morning of the 4th, with my UK hat on, I had four people stop and tell me they were sad to hear of Jared’s passing. That was the type of impact he had. They may not have been UK fans, but they loved watching “The Hefty Lefty” play, and still remember him to this day.
Jared leaves us with a lifetime of memories, be it on the football field or on the radio. He was a highlight reel on the field, and very open and candid on the radio. On the field, Lorenzen still holds two UK passing records. One is total career passing yards with 10,354, and the second is passing yards in a game with 528 against UGA in 2000. He is second in total career passing touchdowns, one behind Andre Woodson, with 78. He won a Super Bowl ring, backing up Eli Manning, in 2008. On the radio, Jared told it like it was. He would not hold back when talking about a player or the program, be it good or bad, but there was never any doubt that this man still bled Kentucky Blue until the end.
To me, and to so many in the Bluegrass, Jared was a larger than life hero. He was the ordinary guy that did extraordinary things on the football field. But to me, as a big man myself, it was much more. He was living the dream that many of us did not get to do, he played quarterback. Jared did this, and he did it better that most. Lorenzen was very open about his weight struggles, and even started the Jared Lorenzen Project to get his self, and others healthy. I could relate to his struggles, I have had them myself. Like many, I would start to get my weight right and then fall off the wagon. After I seen that Jared was really giving it a go, I decided I would as well. I would do well, and then fall down. But when I would hear him say that he would do the same but get back up, it was motivation to me to dust myself off and keep trying. I finally have hit my stride and have been at it hard for 4 months now, and blessed to have had really good success that keeps me sticking to it. I would give anything to thank Jared for the motivation to do this and keep going, but now the best way to thank him is to keep going and get healthy.
To Jared’s family, friends, and especially his children, you are in my prayers. As a father, I could not imagine leaving my son while he is a teenager, so my heart breaks for his two children. From everything that has been said, Lorenzen loved his kids to no ends, and I have no doubt that is true.
On July 3rd at 4:13pm, the Big Blue Nation lost its heart. Jared was as Kentucky as it got, and not just the University of Kentucky, but the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Jared loved his state and University, he was proud to be from the Bluegrass State, and us from the Bluegrass was proud he was ours.
Jared Lorenzen was one of a kind, a true icon in every sense of the word. He was larger than life and everyone loved him for it. The Big Blue Nation, University of Kentucky, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky are all better because of him and what he meant to so many. The Big Blue Nation is hurting at the moment with the loss of our homegrown hero, but Jared left us with a lot of great memories that will keep his memory alive and well.
Rest easy, 22. Know you were loved by so many.
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