Turnovers … by Alan B. Gibson

Posted July 10, 2019 at 2:10 pm

A Kentucky legend leaves us too early

All of the state headlines and sports pages and sports sites have been filled with the news of University of Kentucky football legend Jared Lorenzen passing away last week at the young age of 38.

His feats on the UK gridiron turf were remarkable for a young man of his size and while he had a host of nicknames in his resume, the one that came to mind most often was that “Hefty Left” moniker that he seemed to cherish himself.

Another well known nickname that Lorenzen was often called, “Round Mound of Touchdown,” was a takeoff on Charles Barkley’s “Round Mount of Rebound.”

While I enjoyed his quarterback feats for UK, I had most recently come to enjoy his sideline interview and antics for Kentucky Sports Radio during the pre-game and post-game Kentucky game day shows.

His distinctive radio voice, his love for the UK program and his on-air sense of humor, coupled with his vast knowledge of the game, made listening fun for all fans who tuned in before the Wildcats took the field and for myself, made me often want to stay tuned in for the post-game comments and analysis.

Still, one of my fondest memories of Lorenzen wasn’t from those post-playing days, nor even his on the field accomplishments as the fearless leader for the Wildcats.

I was in the crowd inside Rupp Arena, with my son Brett, during the 1999 KHSAA Sweet 16 basketball tournament as we all watched this giant kid from Ft. Thomas Highlands who UK had signed to play quarterback, along with Highlands teammate Derek Smith.

At one point late in the game, Lorenzen grabbed the basketball out of the net, stepped out of bounds and threw a bullet speed full court pass to Smith, who caught it and then drove to the goal for a dunk.

Everyone in Kentucky watching the high school basketball game stood up and cheered and let out the yell “Touchdown Kentucky”.

I never knew Jared personally, but in more ways than one, he made UK sports fun to watch and to listen to, and he will forever be a Kentucky sports legend.

Jared, RIP, you left us way too soon.

In the meantime – let’s take it outside for a few months!