Hernandez happy to be taken by Patriots
|04.24.10 at 3:22 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Aaron Hernandez has been taken by his home team.
After the Patriots selected him in the fourth round with the 113th overall pick on Saturday, the Connecticut native reflected on the opportunity to play for the team he rooted for as a kid. Hernandez had a Drew Bledsoe jersey as a kid, and remembers going to his first game at Foxboro Stadium.
“I just remember getting that first Patriots jersey and wearing his jersey all around my house. And then they had [Curtis] Martin at running back, and I just fell in love with the Patriots ever since then,” said Hernandez.
Hernandez is a 6-foot-2, 250-pound tight end who led Florida in receptions last year with 68 catches for 850 yards and five touchdowns last season with the Gators. (For his collegiate career, Hernandez had 111 catches for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns.)
Hernandez is the second tight end taken by the Patriots in this draft — New England took Arizona’s Rob Gronkowski with one of their three second-round selections. The two will get to work with veteran Alge Crumpler, who was signed earlier in the offseason.
“I was hanging out with [Gronkowski] a little at the combine. He’s a cool kid,” Hernandez said of his new teammate. “We have a good relationship, too. He’s a cool kid. We chatted a little bit, laughed together at the combine. I’m looking forward to playing tight end with him.”
In addition, he’s the third Florida Gator to be taken this weekend by the Patriots — Brandon Spikes and Jermaine Cunningham were selected in the second round by New England. The opportunity to have two other college teammates alongside in his rookie year will undoubtedly ease the transition to the next level.
“It will make it a little easier because you will have people you know already and feel comfortable around, but it’s still going to take some getting used to,” Hernandez said. “But it definitely helps to have some teammates around you feel comfortable around.”
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