July 3 (UPI) -- Former Kentucky Wildcats and NFL quarterback Jared Lorenzen died Wednesday after a lengthy battle with health problems related to his weight. He was 38.
Lorenzen's family announced the quarterback's death with a statement on social media. Lorenzen, who combated weight issues during and after his playing career, was hospitalized last week.
"It is with heavy hearts that the family of Jared Lorenzen would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation for all of your support and prayers over the past six days," the family said in a statement. "We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Jared today, July 3, 2019.
"Again, we appreciate all of the warm wishes and prayers, but as a family, we would request your respect and privacy. We will offer arrangement information in the coming days. Please keep Jared's family and especially his children in your thoughts and prayers."
Lorenzen was admitted to a hospital Friday due to multiple ailments, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. He was hooked up to a dialysis machine while battling both heart and renal issues.
Lorenzen, who earned the nickname "Hefty Lefty" as a talented left-handed quarterback who weighed over 300 pounds, became a star at the University of Kentucky. He became the school's all-time leader in passing yards (10,354), completions (862) and total offense (10,637 yards).
Kentucky's football program paid respects to Lorenzen with a Twitter post.
"We lost a great one too soon today," the school wrote. "Our hearts are with the Lorenzen family. We love you, 22."
After leaving Kentucky, Lorenzen signed with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2004. He spent parts of four seasons with the Giants and was a member of the franchise's Super Bowl-winning team against the New England Patriots in the 2007-08 campaign.
"We competed against each other in college and came to the Giants together," Manning said. "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 signed with the Indianapolis Colts in July 2008 but was released before the start of the season.