Lorenzen at 2007 Giants training camp
|No. 22, 13, 8|
|Born:||February 14, 1981|
|Died:||July 3, 2019 (aged 38)|
Fort Thomas, Kentucky
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||285 lb (129 kg)|
(Fort Thomas, Kentucky)
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Jared Raymond Lorenzen (February 14, 1981 - July 3, 2019) was an American football quarterback and administrator. Following a successful college football career at Kentucky, he played in the National Football League (NFL) for four seasons with New York Giants. At 285 lb (129 kg), Lorenzen was one of the heaviest quarterbacks to play in the NFL. He was nicknamed Hefty Lefty because of his weight and being left-handed.
Lorenzen saw little playing time during his NFL career and primarily served as a backup, although he was part of the Giants' Super Bowl-winning team in 2008. After a preseason stint with the Indianapolis Colts, Lorenzen played indoor football for the AF2, Ultimate Indoor Football League (UIFL), and Continental Indoor Football League (CIFL). He also served as the commissioner of the UIFL in 2011.
Lorenzen attended Highlands High School in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, and was a letterman in football, basketball, and baseball. In basketball, he was a three-year letterman and helped lead his team to Kentucky Sweet 16 appearances. As a junior, he passed for a Northern Kentucky-record 2,759 yards and 37 touchdowns in 13 games. As a senior in 1998, he completed 62 percent of his passes for 3,393 yards, 45 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also rushed for 904 yards (8.4 average per carry) and 15 TDs in leading Highlands to a 15-0 season and No.19 national ranking as a senior, earning him the Mr. Football Award. Five games into his senior season, Lorenzen committed to the University of Kentucky.
When Lorenzen arrived at the University of Kentucky, he redshirted as a true freshman. As a redshirt freshman, he was named the team's starting quarterback by Wildcats head coach Hal Mumme ahead of returning starter Dusty Bonner. The move caused Bonner to transfer. Lorenzen's career at Kentucky was marked by two head coaching changes; Mumme departed as an investigation into NCAA rules violations brought down his staff and resulted in the program being placed on probation with scholarship limitations. After Lorenzen helped lead the team to a 7-5 record in 2002, head coach Guy Morriss left to become the head coach at Baylor University and was replaced by Rich Brooks, who designed plays in which Lorenzen lined up as a receiver while Shane Boyd played quarterback. Despite all the turmoil, Lorenzen set school records in total offense, passing yards, and passing touchdowns, eclipsing many marks set by 1999 NFL No. 1 overall draft pick Tim Couch.
Numbers in bold are Kentucky records.
Lorenzen was not selected in the 2004 NFL Draft and signed as undrafted free agent with the New York Giants. He declined an offer by coach Tom Coughlin to play in NFL Europe in 2005. Lorenzen was the third string quarterback for 2004 and 2005 for the Giants, behind starter Eli Manning and backup Tim Hasselbeck.
In the 2006 preseason, Lorenzen led his team to victory by engineering a game-winning drive against the Baltimore Ravens. Following that performance and an impressive training camp he was officially named the Giants' backup quarterback three weeks later.
Lorenzen made his second appearance on Sunday, January 7, 2007, in the Giants' wild card loss against the Philadelphia Eagles. On the Giants' opening drive, he lined up at quarterback on a third-and-one and got the first down, "shifting the pile" in the process, on the way to a Giants touchdown.
Lorenzen's first significant regular season appearance occurred on September 9, 2007, when he took over for the injured Manning in the fourth quarter of the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys. Lorenzen made both his first regular season pass and rush, but failed to earn a first down. He played again the following week, against the Green Bay Packers, completing three passes from five attempts, for a total gain of 21 yards. This proved to be his final appearance in the NFL, as Manning's injury did not cost him any further playing time and Lorenzen did not see further action in the 2007 season. He continued to serve as Manning's backup for the remainder of the season, which concluded with the Giants winning Super Bowl XLII against the then-undefeated New England Patriots and Lorenzen earning a championship ring.
After the team's Super Bowl win, Lorenzen was released by the Giants on June 23, 2008.
In 2011, Lorenzen returned to professional football, this time working as the general manager of the Northern Kentucky River Monsters of the Ultimate Indoor Football League. Still wanting to compete on the field, Lorenzen resigned as GM to become the team's starting quarterback. Lorenzen had a highly successful season, winning the league's MVP award.
After gaining some positive press for his return to football, Lorenzen was named commissioner of the league after the 2011 season.
Still wanting to play, Lorenzen quit the UIFL's top job and signed with the Owensboro Rage of the Continental Indoor Football League partway through the 2013 season. The Rage folded two weeks prior to the end of the season due to lack of funds.
Lorenzen returned to the River Monsters, by this point a member of the Continental Indoor Football League, on December 17, 2013. In Lorenzen's first game of the season, Lorenzen showed that he still had plenty of skill, side-stepping defenders. Lorenzen's play was filmed and the videos ended up all over the internet, overshadowing the River Monsters' 36-20 victory of the Bluegrass Warhorses. The following week, however, Lorenzen broke his tibia in a 42-30 loss to the Erie Explosion, ending his pro playing career.
On July 28, 2017, Lorenzen launched "The Jared Lorenzen Project", where he chronicled online his attempts at battling his obesity, weighing over 500 pounds (230 kg). By April 2018, Lorenzen had lost over 100 pounds (45 kg). His story was documented by ESPN in July 2018.