Utah football to retire No. 22 in honor of Ty Jordan, Aaron Lowe

The ceremony will take place between the first and second quarters of Saturday night’s game vs. UCLA

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes cornerback Aaron Lowe waves a Ty Jordan memorial flag before the Utes play the Brigham Young Cougars in football, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021 in Provo. Lowe was shot and killed at a Salt Lake City party Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021.

The No. 22 has been worn by a University of Utah football player for the last time.

The athletic department announced Tuesday afternoon that it will retire No. 22 — the number shared by the late Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe — during a ceremony at Saturday night’s game at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham called for the number’s retirement on Oct. 4, nine days after Lowe was shot and killed outside a house party in Sugar House.

“No. 22, you won’t see anyone wearing No. 22 in this program as long as I’m head coach,” Whittingham said that day “We’d like to see that retired permanently. That is our wish, and I think you’ll see that happen.”

It will indeed happen, and plans came together quickly.

The ceremony will take place between the first and second quarters of Saturday night’s game between the Utes and UCLA at Rice-Eccles Stadium (8 p.m., ESPN).

No. 22 will be the first number retired in the program’s history.

“I think it’s awesome,” Whittingham said Tuesday after practice. “It’s something that seemed to be obvious, that needed to be done, and I’m thankful to our administration for agreeing. You’re going to see a nice ceremony on Saturday. Looking forward to honoring both of those young men.”

Added freshman cornerback Faybian Marks: “It’s a blessing. That’s a number that nobody else needs to wear. I like that decision.”

Whittingham noted that both families are scheduled to be in attendance for the ceremony.

Jordan, last season’s Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, died on Christmas night, the victim of an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound. Following Jordan’s death, Lowe, who attended and played for West Mesquite (Texas) High School alongside Jordan, changed his number from 2 to 22. Lowe was the first recipient of the Ty Jordan Memorial Scholarship.

In the weeks since Lowe’s death, Utah athletic director Mark Harlan had echoed Whittingham’s sentiment to have the number retired a handful of times, only fueling the idea that such an honor wouldn’t take long to pull together.

The number retirement will take place in front of what is expected to be the 68th straight sellout at Rice-Eccles, dating back to the 2010 season-opener.