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Aaron Hernandez
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Position: Tight end
Personal information
Date of birth: November 6, 1989
Place of birth: Bristol, Connecticut
Date of death: April 19, 2017 (aged 27)
Height: 6 ft 2 in Weight: 245 lbs
Career information
High school: Bristol Central (CT)
College: Florida
NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 4 / Pick: 113th
Career history
* = offseason / practice squad only
Career highlights and awards
  • John Mackey Award (2009)
  • First-team All-American (2009)
  • First-team All-SEC (2009)
  • BCS National Championship (2009)
  • SEC Championship (2008)
Player stats at NFL.com

Aaron Hernandez (November 6, 1989 – April 19, 2017) was an American football tight end. Hernandez was drafted with the 113th pick in the 4th round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He played college football at Florida. In the 2010 season Hernandez started 7 games and caught 6 touchdowns. In Week 15 of the 2010 season Hernandez was named Pepsi Rookie of the Week and caught 2 touchdown passes.

Early yearsEdit

Hernandez, who is of Puerto Rica descent,[1] was born in Bristol, Connecticut.[2] He attended Bristol Central High School team as a wide receiver.[3] As a senior, he was the Connecticut Gatorade Football Player of the Year after making 67 receptions for 1,807 yards and 24 touchdowns on offense, and 72 tackles, 12 sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and four blocked kicks on defense.[4] The 1,807 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns were a state record and his 31 touchdowns tied the state record. He also set the state record for receiving yards in a single game with 376, which was the seventh best total in national high school history, and set a national high school record for yards receiving per game with 180.7.

Hernandez was considered the top tight end recruit in 2007 by Scout.com.[5]

College careerEdit

Hernandez enrolled at the University of Florida, where he played for coach Urban Meyer's Florida Gators football team from 2007 to 2009.[6][7] As a true freshman in 2007, Hernandez appeared in 13 games for the Gators, starting three. He finished the season with nine receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns. As a sophomore in 2008, he started 11 of 13 games in place of the injured Cornelius Ingram, and finished the season with 34 receptions for 381 yards and five touchdowns. In the 2009 BCS National Championship Game against the Oklahoma Sooners, Hernandez led the Gators in receiving yards with 57 on five receptions, as the Gators defeated the Sooners 24–14 to win their second national championship in three seasons.[8] As a junior in 2009, Hernandez won the John Mackey Award, given annually to the nation's best tight end, after leading the Gators in receptions with 68 for 850 yards and five touchdowns. He was also a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection and was recognized as a first-team All-American by the Associated Press, College Football News and the The Sporting News.[9]

Hernandez finished his college career with 111 receptions for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns.

After his junior year, he decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2010 NFL Draft.[10]

New England PatriotsEdit

Hernandez was drafted by the New England Patriots in the fourth round (113th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. The previous day, the Patriots drafted another tight end, Rob Gronkowski. Shortly after he was drafted, The Boston Globe reported Hernandez had admitted to marijuana use and had failed multiple drug tests while in college, causing his draft stock to drop.[11][12] Later that day, the Patriots released a statement from Hernandez, who said he had failed only one drug test while in college and was candid about it to interested teams at the NFL Scouting Combine.[13] [14]

Hernandez signed a four-year contract on June 8, 2010.[15] [16] The contract included a signing bonus of $200,000—less than half the bonus received by Patriots fourth-round pick placekicker Stephen Gostkowski in 2006.[17] To compensate for the small signing bonus, the deal also includes a series of roster and workout bonuses that add up to an additional $700,000, which means that "Hernandez can wind up getting the money a third-rounder would over four years, but he's gotta walk the straight and narrow line to do so."[18] [19] [20]

2010 seasonEdit

Hernandez started the 2010 season as the youngest player on any active roster in the NFL. In Week 2, against the New York Jets, he caught 6 passes for 101 yards, making him the youngest player since 1960 to have 100 yards receiving in a single game. In the Patriots' Week 3 victory over the Buffalo Bills, Hernandez led all Patriots receivers with 6 catches for 65 yards, and had one rush for 13 yards. In the Patriots' Week 9 loss against the Cleveland Browns, Hernandez caught his first career touchdown on a 1-yard pass from quarterback Tom Brady, and added another touchdown later in the game. In Week 15, Hernandez caught two touchdown passes from Brady in a win over the Green Bay Packers, earning Hernandez Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week honors. He finished the 2010 season with 45 receptions for 563 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games played (7 starts).

2011 seasonEdit

Through Week 15, Hernandez played in 12 of the Patriots' 14 games, starting 10; for the second season in a row, Hernandez missed two regular-season games with a knee injury. He set career bests in receptions and yards in Week 15, against the Denver Broncos, with 9 catches for 129 yards and one touchdown.

Hernandez and teammate Rob Gronkowski are the first pair of tight ends in NFL history to score at least five touchdowns each in consecutive seasons for the same team; both rank in the top 20 among all receivers in number of catches. In the NFL playoffs, Hernandez had the longest run of the postseason, a 42-yard run against the Denver Broncos on the Patriots' first offensive drive of the game.

Gronkowski-Hernandez tandemEdit

At the start of the 2011 season, Hernandez was one of only two tight-ends on the roster; the other was his fellow 2010 draftee Rob Gronkowski.

Although Hernandez's stats were eclipsed by Gronkowski's, Hernandez still ranked in the top 5 in receptions, yards, and touchdowns among tight ends; according to NBC Sports, Hernandez and Gronkowski are the first pair of tight ends in NFL history to catch 5 touchdown passes in consecutive seasons with the same team. In 2011 they also set NFL records for yardage, receptions, and touchdowns by tight ends on one team, combining for 169 receptions, 2,237 yards, and 24 touchdowns. The previous records for receptions and yards by tight ends on a single team was set in 1984 by the San Diego Chargers, who had four tight ends combine for 163 receptions and 1,927 yards;[21] the 24 touchdowns eclipsed the record of 18 touchdowns caught by Gronkowski, Hernandez, and Alge Crumpler in 2010.

DeathEdit

On April 19, 2017 Hernandez was found hanged using bedsheets in his prison cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Lancaster, Massachusetts, less than a week after he was found not guilty.

References Edit

  1. Florida tight end Hernandez honors father's memory
  2. Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, Aaron Hernandez. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  3. Gatorzone.com, Football History, 2009 Roster, Aaron Hernandez Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  4. UF Profile.
  5. 2007 Football Recruiting – Tight Ends, Scout.com, first accessed 2010-04-28.
  6. 2010 UF Media Guide.
  7. 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 74, 81, 89, 95, 97, 101, 143–145, 162, 182 (2011), retrieved August 29, 2011.
  8. Florida rides Tebow, suffocating defense to another BCS title. Associated Press. ESPN.com (2009-01-08). Retrieved on 2010-04-28.
  9. 2010 UF Media Guide.
  10. Florida Gators All-American TE Aaron Hernandez entering draft Associated Press article, on ESPN.com, January 6, 2010, first accessed April 28, 2010.
  11. Hernandez has history of drug use, Boston Globe, by Albert R. Breer, April 27, 2010, first accessed April 28, 2010.
  12. Archive.com reference, April 28, 2010.
  13. Hernandez says he failed one test, Boston Globe, by Albert R. Breer, April 28, 2010, accessed April 28, 2010.
  14. Archive.com reference, April 28, 2010.
  15. [http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4679319/patriots-sign-draft-pick-hernandez Patriots sign draft pick Hernandez, ESPNBoston.com, by Mike Reiss, June 8, 2010, first accessed June 8, 2010.
  16. Patriots sign draft pick Hernandez, ESPNBoston.com, by Mike Reiss, June 8, 2010, accessed June 13, 2010.
  17. Extra point, Boston Globe article, by Mike Reiss July 25, 2006.
  18. Patriots play cautious on Hernandez deal Boston Globe article, by Albert Breer June 9, 2010, first accessed July 17, 2010.
  19. [1]
  20. Archive.com reference, June 12, 2010.]
  21. New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski/Aaron Hernandez making tight end history, ESPNGO.com, accessed August 19, 2012.
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