Former NCAA Football Star Jared Lorenzen Dead at 38


Former Kentucky star and Super Bowl champion quarterback Jared Lorenzen died Wednesday at the age of 38, his family said.

“I lost my sweet boy today after a long hard fight,” Lorenzen’s mother, Janet, told ESPN.

“Please keep Jared’s family and especially his children, in your thoughts and prayers,” read an official statement from his family that asked for privacy.

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Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones tweeted Saturday that Lorenzen was in the intensive care unit battling “an infection, kidney & heart issues.”

“On Friday, June 28, Jared began playing a bigger, more important game than he’s ever played before,” a statement from his family said. “Jared had not been feeling well for a few weeks and that finally caught up with him. He was brought to the hospital and fairly quickly was admitted to the ICU.”

“Jared is battling an infection, kidney and heart issues. He is fighting with everything he has and his immediate family is by his side,” the statement added.

Lorenzen first rose to fame as a star high school quarterback.

In 1998, he was named Kentucky’s “Mr. Football” while playing at Highland High School, and he led the Bluebirds to a 15-0 record and a mind-blowing 801 points, which stood as a state record until the same school surpassed it by scoring 849 points in 2011.

Lorenzen went on to attend Kentucky University, where he took over quarterbacking duties in 2000 and soon became a star.

He went undrafted in 2001, but was signed as a free agent by the New York Giants, with whom he played for three seasons, winning a Super Bowl ring as the backup signal-caller when New York defeated the Patriots in 2008.

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Lorenzen became something of a folk hero for playing quarterback while carrying some extra weight. He was listed at 6-foot-4, 285 pounds with the Giants, and weighed as much as 500 pounds earlier this year, when he started a documentary series about his efforts to get in better shape.

As news of Lorenzen’s death broke, the tributes poured in on Twitter.

“Jared Lorenzen was one of the finest people I have known….a better person than a player,” Jones tweeted. “My heart is broken for his family and friends. God Bless the soul of our amazing friend.”

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Joe Setyon was a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who had spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon was deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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