Where do I begin?
Jared Lorenzen is easily my favorite QB to ever wear the blue and white. At approximately 6'4, Lorenzen was always near the 300lb mark. This left him as (unofficially) the largest quarterback in American football. However, he was very mobile. In fact, he rushed for 904 yards as a high school senior. His remarkable HS career, playing for Highlands in Fort Thomas, led to a scholarship offer from (then) UK coach Hal Mumme.
His story was just getting started, though.
Luckily, I was able to reach out to Jared and get an interview. He was very nice and chatted with me for nearly an hour about a variety of topics. A full transcript will not be forthcoming, unlike the case with the Andre Riddick article. I will certainly add some quotes, but this will have a bit different feel. Lorenzen was a player who took chances, so I feel inspired to do the same!
Our phone call started off with the typical greetings. Yet, there was something special about the inviting, laid back, energetic tone of his voice. The former player everyone knew as a fun-loving player, is now a fun-loving father and entrepreneur. I hope everyone has heard of Throwboy Tees. It is his company and a great place for UK (and other local teams) fans to visit.
As an avid listener of KSR, I had heard rumblings about Jared possibly having a TV/film project forthcoming. I knew it was something about his weight loss. I jumped right in asking him about what was happening with all of that. He let me know that he was filming it (currently as a documentary) but all the specifics have yet to be determined.
He is working diligently on his weight and hopes it is something that will be a positive (particularly for Kentuckians). Looks like "The Hefty Lefty" will soon need a new name. I know that I am excited to see the new and improved number 22.
Starting in the present was a theme that continued. Our next topic was Throwboy Tees. I asked him how he got started with that and how it was so successful. He mentioned that being a business owner always interested him; he once owned a restaurant too. The idea came from a friend and now they make original shirts. They listen to fans and acts on ideas quickly. Those seem to be the keys to success.
Naturally, I then bounced all of the way back to his youth football days. I was truly all over the place, partially because I was interviewing my favorite UK QB ever. I asked how he became a Quarterback, mentioning his size and the propensity for big guys to get stuck on the line. He immediately gave credit to his former youth coach of four years, Steve, for steering him to that position. Initially, Jared cried when playing QB. The reason? He did not like touching the Center's "butt", when taking the snap. This left me laughing.
Somehow the conversation tumbled into favorite teams. Growing up, Lorenzen casually followed Fla. St and Michigan, mostly due to his friend's rooting interest in Notre Dame. His favorite NFL team was the Redskins, likely due to another of his acquaintances following the Cowboys. Young Jared was a bit contrary, haha.
We found our way to the topic of his High School career. Due to his parent's divorce, he had a couple of options on where to attend high school. At this point, he was fond of his position and wanted to have a chance to continue to play Quarterback. Highlands gave him a shot to do that. While several colleges reach out to him, Mumme's offer was too good to turn down. He committed to UK and took a redshirt his 1st season.
Mr. Lorenzen had one of the most memorable debuts in UK history. His 1st series resulted in a three-play touchdown drive against UL. His very 1st play, a bootleg, resulted in his longest career run. Two plays later, he completed his 1st career pass for a TD, to Dougie Allen.
Interestingly enough, that play was meant to be a short throw, but Allen busted open, and Lorenzen went for it. Listening to Jared's description of the play brought back a very fond memory. The end score is not nearly as interesting...so we will move on!
The rest of his career went well. His junior season, he was named All-SEC, and he signed with the NYG following his senior season. Entering the Giant's locker room was a very cool moment for him. He recalls thinking that those guys were on his video games.
Tiki Barber and Michael Strahan were the two names that stuck out most. Also, he mentioned meeting Ladainian Tomlinson and thinking "he is on my Fantasy team".
Obviously, I had to ask about that 2007 Super Bowl. Could you imagine winning a Super Bowl? I know that I could not. Especially defeating a team that was on the verge of going 19-0, I mean WOW!. He recalls everything about the week, having his daughter there, and going to the White House months later.
Seeing the David Tyree catch replayed is something that reminds him of how amazing that experience really was. He called it "the pinnacle" of his career. How could it not be?
Our last couple of topics were the future of Football and the Stoop's era. Jared was mostly optimistic on both. He, and I agree, says that Stoops is the best off the field coach in memory. He does think it is time to win and says we should be a program that gets 6-8 wins EVERY season.
Special seasons we could climb even higher. He called the Lamar Thomas hire "perfect" and believes things are going the right direction. Last year, he cited more turmoil than we knew or heard of, but feels the team has grown, matured, and moved on.
Currently, in addition to Throwboy Tees and his documentary, Jared helps coach his son, Tayden, on the Campbell County Thunder. Tayden may be happy to know his daddy called him a "beast"! It is a youth football team, and Jared is the OC. He mentioned that all coaches are certified these days, and proper tackling technique is a huge focus.
Keeping the kids and the future of Football safe is clearly at the forefront of grassroots Football. He added that he believes the NFL is now headed in the right direction in terms of player safety. Being a huge fan of the game, I hope that he is right!
I hope that you enjoyed the article. It is certain that I enjoyed the opportunity to speak to one of our beloved Football Cats. Feel free to comment and don't forget to check out Throwboy tees. If you like, share it up too! More shares likely means more interviews.