SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – When the University of Utah football team takes the field for the first time in the wake of the murder of Aaron Lowe, the Utes will do so with an updated decal on their helmets to memorialize him and late running back Ty Jordan.
The Utes began the season with a decal – a heart stylized out of the number 22, with the letters LLTJ (Long Live Ty Jordan) inside – to honor Jordan, who was killed by an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound in December 2020. Now, using that same heart design – Lowe also wore 22, in remembrance of his longtime friend and teammate from the same Texas high school – Lowe’s initials have been added to the sticker, following his death on Sept. 26.
Spokespersons for the Utah football team confirmed to ABC4.com the updated sticker will be added to the helmet for the remainder of the season, beginning with this Saturday’s matchup against USC in Los Angeles.
The updated logo will complement a white throwback-style uniform and new t-shirts for the players that read “22% BETTER EVERY DAY.”
Utah’s volleyball team has already donned patches with the design celebrating the life of Jordan and Lowe on their uniforms.
In his weekly press conference on Monday, head football coach Kyle Whittingham stated that he won’t issue the No. 22 again while he is in charge of the program and would like to see the uniform retired, something he feels is likely.
The overwhelmingly tragic coincidence of losing two players, who were teammates together at West Mesquite High School in Texas and at one point in their careers at Utah wore No. 22, to gun-related deaths has made football a secondary focus for the Utes, who are 2-2 on the season.
Even in heartache, Whittingham told the media on Monday that the team has found solace in continuing to push through and play through the pain.
“The best way to heal and the best way to get through this together is to get back to doing what they love and what they were here for…That’s getting some getting back to some sense of normalcy, but at the same time, you never put it out of your mind. But it’s just a therapy in and of itself, I guess you could say, getting back on the field.”
Utah will look to grab its first win without Lowe, as well as the program’s first victory at USC in 105 years, on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.