SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The number 22 will never be worn again on the University of Utah football team.
The Utes will honor the legacy of both Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe on Saturday by retiring the number 22 between the first and second quarters during Utah’s game against UCLA.
The No. 22 will be the first retired in the history of the Utah Football program.
Jordan lost his life in an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound on Dec. 26, 2020. Lowe, his best friend and teammate, was killed nine months later in a shooting at a party in Salt Lake City on Sept. 26, 2021.
Utah has already established the Ty Jordan and Aaaron Lowe Memorial Scholarships. The pair of scholarships will be given to current Utah Football players each year who exemplify the qualities of Jordan and Lowe.
With Jordan and Lowe, one was rarely seen without the other during their short time in Salt Lake City together after meeting at West Mesquite High School. On Oct. 11, Lowe was laid to rest in his hometown of Mesquite, Texas, right next to Jordan, which is where his family knew he would want to be – with his best friend.
On that day in Mesquite, the Utes buried their second teammate in less than a year, and while it was a somber day, the memories and stories shared about Lowe were familiar. One of the reasons Lowe and Jordan were drawn to each other as friends was because their personalities were alike – caring, positive and hard working.
On Jan. 6, 2021, Utah traveled to Dallas for Jordan’s funeral. The shortened 2020 season had just ended on Dec. 19 against Washington State where the Utes won 42-28, a game that featured three rushing touchdowns from Jordan.
In five games in 2020, Jordan averaged 119.4 rushing yards per game, which ranked No. 1 among the nation’s freshmen, and averaged 7.2 yards per carry on the way to 597 net rushing yards. In addition, he scored six total rushing touchdowns on the way to earning Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year and Freshman All-America by The Athletic and 247Sports.
During Jordan’s memorial service, running backs coach Kiel McDonald reminded his team, family and friends of Jordan’s “million dollar smile” and his “special energy,” while Whittingham called him a “special young man” who had an “infectious personality” and a “sparkle in his eye.”
Those same sentiments were used to describe Lowe. Lowe, who had been awarded the Ty Jordan Memorial Scholarship during 2021 fall camp, came to Utah in 2019 as a three-star recruit out of West Mesquite.
He made an immediate impact as a true freshman, playing in all 11 games. He played in 20 total games in his career, earning a spot on the two-deep during the 2021 season as a back-up nickel. It was Lowe’s selfless attitude, work ethic and loving spirit that was remembered earlier this month at his service.
Whittingham described Lowe as someone with a “great heart, great smile and great personality” and that he “approached life with clear eyes and a full heart.” He was what his teammates called loyal, someone who was more than just a teammate – but a brother as well.
Like Jordan, Lowe’s personality and smile were contagious. Described as “infectiously optimistic,” Lowe vowed to carry Jordan’s legacy with him – something he did until the day he passed.
The legacy of both Lowe and Jordan will be passed down from team to team with each player pledging to live the way they did. To work hard, to be a good teammate, and to improve as people on and off the field – to be 22-percent better.