LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Jared Lorenzen, the former Giants and University of Kentucky quarterback whose oversized body and outsized talent won him fans on and off the field, died Wednesday at 38 after years of health problems related to his weight, his family said.
ESPN’s Jeremy Schapp, who interviewed Lorenzen for his "E:60" series last year, confirmed the death on Twitter, citing a text to his producer from Lorenzen’s mother: "Lorenzen’s mother, Janet, confirmed that Jared died today. He was only 38. Janet said, 'I lost my sweet boy today after a long hard fight.’ "
Moments later, Matt Jones of KentuckySportsRadio.com, a personal friend who broke the news of Lorenzen’s hospitalization last week, released a statement from the family.
"It is with heavy hearts that the family of Jared Lorenzen would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation for all of your support and prayers over the past 6 days. We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Jared today, July 3, 2019 ..."
After signing with the Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2004, the 6-4, 285-pound Lorenzen backed up Eli Manning for three seasons, although he played hardly at all. Attempts to get back into the game finally ended when he broke his leg while playing for the Northern Kentucky River Monsters, an obscure arena league team, in 2013.
After his playing days were done, Lorenzen began to struggle with his weight, which reached more than 500 pounds, and went through a divorce. In 2017 he said that before he began his weight-loss project that he hadn’t stepped on a scale since being cut by the Colts in 2008.
Although his NFL stats were unimpressive (4-for-8 for 28 yards in mop-up duty in four games for the Giants), Lorenzen put up eye-popping statistics in college, especially for a quarterback who weighed as much or more than some of his offensive linemen. Lorenzen holds UK career records for total yards, completions and passing yards. His 10,637 total yards eclipse the next-closest player by nearly 2,000.
Lorenzen was admitted to a hospital Friday with a number of ailments, and on Tuesday reportedly was holding "his ground" despite being hooked to a dialysis machine, suffering from renal and heart issues.