LEXINGTON, Ky. — Former NFL player Jared Lorenzen has died at the age of 38, family members confirmed.
Lorenzen was the quarterback of the University of Kentucky football team and was signed by the New York Giants in 2004. Nicknamed the "Hefty Lefty," he openly struggled with his weight and had returned to Lexington to team up with the "Now Let's Get Fit" organization to help kids make healthy lifestyle choices.
“I just want people to know there is something better out there that will make you feel better about yourself and going out and being out,” Lorenzen said.
He was Mr. Kentucky Football 1998. He attended to Fort Thomas Highlands High School across the river from Cincinnati, where he also played basketball and baseball. As a junior, he passed for a Northern Kentucky-record 2,759 yards and 37 touchdowns in 13 games. He won state championship titles in 1996 and 1998 and also went to Sweet 16 in the boys.
He would often joke about his weight, but was making strides to get healthier.
“I came out of the womb big as can be. I was a 13 pound baby,” said Lorenzen.
In a 2017 interview with the Today Show, Lorenzen told anchors that he wanted to live long enough to see his daughter get married and his son play college football.
Lorenzen had been in the hospital with several health ailments and was in the ICU.
The family released a statement to Matt Jones reading, "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 announced 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. We will offer arrangement information in the coming days. Please keep Jared's family and especially his children, in your thoughts and prayers."
This story was originally published by Melissa Ratliff on WLEX in Lexington, Kentucky.