Hernandez playing for the Patriots in 2011
No. 81 New England Patriots
|Date of birth:November 6, 1989|
|Place of birth: Bristol, Connecticut|
|High school: Bristol (CT) Central|
|NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 4 / Pick: 113|
|Debuted in 2010 for the New England Patriots|
|Roster status: Active|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2012
Aaron Michael Hernandez (born November 6, 1989) is an American football tight end for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Florida, was a member of a BCS National Championship team, earned All-American honors, and was recognized as the outstanding college tight end in the nation. He was drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, and was selected for the Pro Bowl following his second NFL season.
On August 27, 2012, the Patriots signed Hernandez to a five-year extension, running through 2018, that includes a $12.5 million signing bonus, the largest signing bonus ever given to an NFL tight end, and the second-largest extension ever, after teammate Rob Gronkowski's.
Early years 
Hernandez, who is of Puerto Rican descent, was born in Bristol, Connecticut. He attended Bristol Central High School in Bristol, and played for the Bristol Central Rams high school football team as a wide receiver. 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. 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.
College career 
At first he committed to play for the University of Connecticut, but Hernandez ultimately enrolled at the University of Florida, where he played for coach Urban Meyer's Florida Gators football team from 2007 to 2009.
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.
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. Hernandez finished his college career with 111 receptions for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Professional career 
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 2⅓ in||245 lb||32¼ in||9¾ in||4.64 s||1.65 s||2.71 s||4.18 s||6.83 s||33 in||9 ft 3 in||30 reps|
|All values from Florida Pro Day.|
New England Patriots 
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. 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.
Hernandez signed a four-year contract on June 8, 2010. 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. 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."
2010 season 
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 season 
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. Hernandez led the Patriots to Super Bowl XLVI but the Patriots lost the game to the Giants 17-21.
2012 season 
Hernandez was sidelined during the Patriot's Week 2 game against the Arizona Cardinals with a high ankle sprain and missed several weeks. On December 10 Monday Night Football game against the Houston Texans, Aaron Hernandez recorded 8 receptions for 58 yards and two touchdowns.
Gronkowski-Hernandez tandem 
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; the 24 touchdowns eclipsed the record of 18 touchdowns caught by Gronkowski, Hernandez, and Alge Crumpler in 2010.
See also 
- 2008 Florida Gators football team
- 2009 College Football All-America Team
- Florida Gators
- List of Florida Gators football All-Americans
- List of Florida Gators football players
- List of New England Patriots players
- List of Puerto Ricans
- Florida tight end Hernandez honors father's memory
- Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, Aaron Hernandez. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
- GatorZone.com, Football History, 2009 Roster, Aaron Hernandez. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
- "2007 Football Recruiting – Tight Ends". Scout.com. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- "Florida tight end Hernandez honors father's memory".
- 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.
- "Florida rides Tebow, suffocating defense to another BCS title". Associated Press. ESPN.com. 2009-01-08. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- "Florida Gators All-American TE Aaron Hernandez entering draft". Associated Press. ESPN.com. 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- "Aaron Hernandez Combine Profile". NFL.com. Archived from the original on 11 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-28..
- Breer, Albert R. (2010-04-27). "Hernandez has history of drug use". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 28 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- Breer, Albert R. (2010-04-28). "Hernandez says he failed one test". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 30 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- Reiss, Mike (2010-06-08). "Patriots sign draft pick Hernandez". ESPNBoston.com. Archived from the original on 13 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
- Reiss, Mike (2006-07-25). "Extra points". The Boston Globe.
- Breer, Albert (2010-06-09). "Patriots play cautious on Hernandez deal". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-17.