UK Football

Lorenzen hoping to ride Horsemen back to NFL

Jared Lorenzen certainly isn't in it for the money: $200 a game, $50 more if you win.

The former star at the University of Kentucky isn't in it for the acclaim of playing before thousands of fans.

The former backup quarter back of the New York Giants is in it to use arenafootball2 to showcase his talent in hopes of returning to the NFL.

Lorenzen signed a contract Monday with the Kentucky Horsemen of af2.

"(Lexington) is home to me. It's where I need to be," he said. "I've been gone too long, way too many years. I promise a lot of fun in the stadium ... arena," pointing toward Rupp Arena, home of the Horsemen since indoor/arena football came to Lexington in 2003.

Horsemen General Manager Brian Boehm "discovered" Lorenzen, who was calling boys' basketball games for Scott County High School.

"Somebody told Jared he should be playing for the Horsemen," Boehm said. "He said, 'I'd be interested.' We sat down and talked about it. The rest is history."

Lorenzen, who will be 28 on Saturday, plans to complete his undergraduate degree in communications at UK.

"I need 17 hours to finish, and it's a top priority for me," he said. "I've talked to the CATS (Center for Academic and Tutorial Services) people. I wish I'd finished when I was in college (2000-03). I have no excuses."

Lorenzen is listed as 6-foot-4, 285 pounds on the Horsemen's roster. "I need to lose five pounds," he said, expecting that to happen when pre-season camp begins March 8.

"You're not in football shape till you get out (in practice). I want to get back to the NFL, so I want to play and have film," he said. "What better place to do that and be with old friends. I'm jumping out of my skin and anxious to get into practice."

Lorenzen said he had spoken with Arizona's Kurt Warner, who played arena football before becoming a three-time Super Bowl quarterback.

Warner taught him the "dig" route (down and in) that he has taken to the NFL.

Lorenzen said that with arena football's narrow field, "I'll have to get acquainted with the wall. The speed will be different but just as fast because of the smaller field."

He'll throw "a different ball" to Horsemen receivers. "The velocity is different, and I'll have a left-handed spin," he said.

Lorenzen isn't taking his Horsemen gig lightly.

"If I took another year off, that would be two years without playing," he said. "I'd probably be done."

Horsemen Coach Mike Harmon is happy to have Lorenzen as long as possible.

"Good for him, good for the community," Harmon said. "Lexington has been good to Jared, and Jared has done a lot for Lexington. He will work with kids in the community and schools and improve as a player to get to his ultimate goal of the NFL."

Harmon pointed out nuances of the arena game that will challenge Lorenzen.

"It's tighter and faster with crowded throwing lanes," Harmon said. "Jared will have a chance to hone his skills."

Boehm will do his part in the front office.

"If I can help move them on, I'll do it," he said. "I send out film every three weeks to help market the players. It's the least we can do."

Lorenzen holds UK records with 10,354 career passing yards, 862 completions, and 528 yards in a game.

He was a member of the 2007 Super Bowl champion Giants but was released in 2008 by the Giants and the Indianapolis Colts.