Former University of Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen has reportedly passed away following his hospitalization last week. Lorenzen's family issued a statement to on Wednesday, confirming his death, although they did not specify how or why. Lorenzen was 38 years old.
"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 six days," the family said in a statement, according to 247 Sports.
"We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Jared today, July 3, 2019. Again, we appreciate all of the warm wishes and prayers, but as a family, we would request your respect and privacy," they went on. "We will offer arrangement information in the coming days. Please keep Jared's family and especially his children, in your thoughts and prayers."
Lorenzen played for the University of Kentucky from 2000 from 2003, and is still considered one of the most beloved quarterbacks in the school's history. To this day, he holds passing records in several categories for the university.
Lorenzen actually did not get drafted into the NFL immediately upon graduation. However, the New York Giants snapped him up a short while later, and he became their third-string quarterback for two seasons. After that he was second-string, serving as a back-up for Eli Manning himself.
Lorenzen had a wide-ranging career outside of the NFL as well, playing in various indoor football leagues. He rose up to become the commissioner of the Ultimate Indoor Football League before retiring from the sport.
After that, he struggled with his weight for a time, exceeding 500 pounds before getting his health back in order. Even that became a career highlight, as he launched The Jared Lorenzen Project, a documentary series following his weight gain and weight loss efforts.
This diverse career may explain why Lorenzen's passing was met with such heartbreak this week. Everyone in the sports community seemed to mourn for Lorenzen, and to have a touching story of how he or his work affected them over the years.
"RIP Jared Lorenzen. The man who made dreamers out of every big fella wanted to give QB a shot but instead was told to go to the offensive or defensive line group in practice," wrote sport reporter Charles Robinson. Robinson included a link to a video of Lorenzen on the football field in 2001.
"My favorite game of his..." he wrote.
"A legend is gone today. Rest in peace Jared Lorenzen. My heart breaks for Jared’s family and loved ones," tweeted Kentucky sports reporter Jack Pilgrim. "No. 22 forever."
Lorenzen is survived by his daughter Taylar and his son Tayden.