We’ve focused a lot on Jared Lorenzen’s career as a Kentucky Wildcat, but it’s worth remembering just how incredible he was in high school. Jared’s folk hero status started at Fort Thomas Highlands, where he led the Bluebirds to two state titles, a 41-2 record over four years, and 801 points his senior season, a state record until Highlands topped it in 2011. He won the 1998 Kentucky Mr. Football award and went on to break even more records at UK. Needless to say, he was a rock star to kids growing up across the Bluegrass, but especially in the northern part of the state.
The best thing about Jared? He recognized that and went out of his way to give back to the communities that raised him. We knew he mentored fellow Highlands and Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles, who shared a note Jared sent him his sophomore year of high school, and today, Cincinnati Enquirer contributor Adam Turer wrote about how Jared served as a role model to others in the Fort Thomas community. According to his old coach Dale Mueller (and anyone who ever knew him), that’s just who Jared was, going back to his high school days.
“It didn’t matter if it was the state championship, if a kid came up to him before the game, he was going to talk to him and motivate him. People always talked so positively about him and he would always try to deflect that and talk positively about them,” said Mueller. “His biggest impact on me as a coach was that humble, it’s-all-about-the-other-person attitude. That’s the way Jared was. He wanted to make everybody else feel good about themselves.”
With Jared’s memorial service beginning in just an hour in northern Kentucky, I encourage you to take a few moments to read the rest of Turer’s article:
Also, if you missed it on today’s show, Tommy Tomlinson, who wrote the ESPN the Magazine article about Jared in 2014, called in to talk about how Jared inspired him to face his own weight loss battle. You can hear that halfway through hour two of the podcast:
Finally, if you’re like me, this simple, sweet tribute by Kentucky will move you to tears:
Today we lay our brother, our friend and our teammate to rest. RIP, @JaredLorenzen22. We will always love you.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) July 10, 2019
No. 22 in your program, No. 1 in our hearts. We love you, Jared.