Former Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen dies at 38

Jared Lorenzen has died at the age of 38 (Photo: Raycom Sports)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -- Former Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Jared Lorenzen has died at the age of 38.

WVLT News' affiliate WKYT confirmed his passing through a family member.

The Covington-born quarterback is one of the most recognizable Kentucky Wildcats football players of all time. He was a standout athlete at Highlands High School in Fort Thomas. He committed to Kentucky and started playing in the 2000 season.

Lorenzen was known as "Hefty Lefty," and his size made him a fan favorite as he was a starter for all four years with the team.

"We are heartbroken for Jared’s family and friends," Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops said. "Since I’ve been here, it has been obvious that he was one of the most popular players in school history. He was a proud member of the Kentucky football family and he will be greatly missed by the Big Blue Nation."

WKYT reported Lorenzen joined the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent and was on the team that defeated the previously unbeaten New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

“Jared was a great teammate and friend," Giants quarterback Eli Manning said. "We competed against each other in college and came to the Giants together. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I will always remember his competitive spirit and his good nature. Jared has left us all way too soon.”

Lorenzen spent some time in the NFL, but his weight became the source of health problems, WKYT reported. He weighed in a nearly 600 pounds before starting a documentary series profiling his journey with weight loss.

In the documentary, Lorenzen said he would "die in five years" if the didn't take steps to lose weight.

Copyright WVLT News via WKYT. All rights reserved.