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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Bleacher Report article details legacy of Jared Lorenzen's legend

Bleacher Report's Adam Kramer took a storytelling swing to capture the spirit of Highlands' Jared Lorenzen and he hit it out of the park.

There has not been a shortage of articles on Jared since his tragic death earlier this year, but

"The Everlasting Legacy of Hefty Lefty" incorporates insights from those who knew him best, in long-form, weaving in video highlights and inside stories that will make you read with a wry smile and finish with a tear.

"Jared Lorenzen was a highlight machine, Super Bowl champ and early prototype for QBs like Cam Newton and Patrick Mahomes before dying at 38 after a long battle with obesity and other issues"

By Adam Kramer, Lexington, KY, October 31, 2019

Since his son, Jared, died, Joe Lorenzen has avoided traveling as much as possible. His job as an applications engineer requires some nights on the road, so he can't entirely avoid it. But he knows just how empty a hotel room can be these days.

When he's out there, on his own, he can get lost in his own thoughts, thinking about Jared.

And when he thinks of him, it's not to replay the many touchdowns he scored at Kentucky or the night in February 2008 when his son lifted him off the University of Phoenix Stadium turf after winning the Super Bowl. It's the emptiness and regret and love and loss that consume him.

Joe plays golf to occupy his mind. Candy Crush, too. But there is little that can truly distract him from his grief.

It all still feels so vivid as he describes it on this day in mid-October, a bit more than three months since Jared's death and about five hours before the former Wildcat's life is to be celebrated at a Kentucky home game against Arkansas. Sitting on the back porch of his son's home, a few miles from the stadium, with a chill in the air as the wind knocks leaves off the trees, Joe wears blue jeans and a white long-sleeve shirt that is neatly pressed. As he speaks, his hands rarely leave his lap.

The resemblance between the father and his late son is uncanny, so much so that years ago they were regularly confused for brothers. The rosy red cheeks. The defined facial features. The belly. And the natural warmth that draws you closer without you even questioning why or how.

"I miss him so much," Joe says. "But I couldn't be any prouder of who he was. I'm proud of his athletic accomplishments, but I'm prouder of the person he was. For wanting people to be happy."

He misses their phone calls. Ten minutes to seven, every morning, usually when they were both on their way to work. Jared and Joe wouldn't talk for long. But each would get to hear the other's voice and start each other's days, and that was enough.

Read the rest at Bleacher Report here.

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