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Deion Branch on Aaron Hernandez: ‘That’s my guy, man’

06.30.13 at 9:51 pm ET

Speaking to the Albany (Ga.) Herald newspaper, former Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch stood by his former teammate, Aaron Hernandez.

“Aaron is a great guy and a great friend of mine and a great teammate,” Branch told the newspaper. “I love him to death, and it was shocking to hear his name involved in this situation. I truly hope and pray he doesn’t have any dealings with it.”

Branch is only the second former Patriot to speak out regarding Hernandez, who remains in police custody after being charged with the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. Matt Light was the only other former teammate of Hernandez to comment on the situation. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

“That’s my guy, man,” Branch said. “That’s my guy. It really shocked me. He was a great kid. Overall, I hope the best that he isn’t involved with it and I hope he gets his name cleared, but most importantly I send my prayers and condolences out to the Lloyd family.”

The wide receiver added, “Nobody deserves to walk, whoever the person is that did it. Most of all what we as Americans need to understand is that is somebody’€™s child that was a victim. That’€™s somebody’€™s dad, and my prayers and thoughts go out to his family and hope that they bring whoever did this to their child to justice, regardless of who it is.”

Branch made the comments during his eighth annual Skills and Drills camp at Albany State University Saturday.

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