The round mound of touchdown

I graduated high school at 155 pounds. I was not big or fast and mostly played in a back-up role on my high school football team.

At the University of Georgia, I gained my freshman 15, plus a few other portions. Thanks to the weight room, I was able to moderate the effects and build some muscle as well.

Returning home for my first Thanksgiving I was 195 pounds.

It was an interesting holiday. I had relatives, most who were only passing football fans, if at all, ask me if I had decided to play for Georgia.

Coach Gerald Rice, my high school coach, who actually grew up in Fannin County, would have had a belly laugh about the question.

“Son, you are slower than smoke off of cold dog manure,” he used to say.

I didn’t bother to go into my coach’s assessments with my relatives and friends. 

Instead, I would point out the fact I was still lighter than most college safeties in corners at 195 pounds and could not run nearly as fast. I couldn’t throw under pressure like the quarterbacks, plus at 5’11”, I wouldn’t be able to see over the line of scrimmage.

As for playing on either line or linebacker, not happening.

But sometimes size doesn’t matter. Which brings me to Jared Lorenzen and the reason I began thinking about size and football.

Lorenzen died July 3.

If you followed University of Georgia football in the early 2000s, you saw him play for the University of Kentucky. You would remember him.

Lorenzen walked on the field, the first time I saw him, and I thought, “What a large offensive lineman.”

And then he took his place under center. 

Lorenzen played quarterback. He weighed more than most of his linemen at close to 300 pounds.

Even his coach, Hal Mumme, said when Lorenzen told him he would be his quarterback one day, he thought, left tackle, maybe.

There were no shortage of nicknames: The Round Mound of Touchdown, The Pillsbury Throwboy, Hefty Lefty, The Abominable Throwman, J-Load, etc.

Through it all, Lorenzen smiled and let his play make the statement. In his college career, he threw for 10,354 yards and 78 TDs. Quite a few of those came against the Bulldogs. He gave us fits.

Lorenzen went pro, but never caught on as a starter and ended up playing in the smaller leagues. But, he was always confident and fun to watch. 

Andy Ashurst is the publisher of the Times-Courier. He can be reached via phone, 706-635-4313, or email, publisher@timescourier.com.

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