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2009 Football Roster

81
Aaron Hernandez

TE

Height
6' 2"
CLASS
JR
Hometown
Bristol, Conn.
Weight
250 lbs.
Experience
3L
School
Bristol Central
Aaron Hernandez

 

CAREER: Saw action in 40 games as a Gator, including 29 starts…Had 111 catches for 1,382 yards (12.5 average), with a 64-yard career-long catch and 12 touchdowns…Also completed his career at UF with one rush for 16 yards… Set UF records for most catches by a tight end in a season (68 in 2009) and a career (111)…Additionally led the nation in catches by a tight end (68)…His 68 catches in 2009 were the most in the SEC since 1999 by a tight end…Hernandez had 14 games in his career with 50-or-more receiving yards, including two games over 100 yards, and nine games with five-or-more receptions.

 

HONORS: Became the first Gator and first tight end from the SEC to win the John Mackey Award, awarded annually to the best collegiate tight end…A Sporting News and AP First-Team All-American who was additionally named the 2009 Walter Camp Connecticut Player of the Year…A 2009 first-team All-SEC selection at tight end by the Associated Press, the league’s head coaches and Phil Steele…2007 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll…2007 Honorable Mention Freshman All-American by CollegeFootballNews.com.

 

2009: Played in all 14 of Florida’s games and made 13 starts during the season…Ranked first on the team in receptions (68), and second in receiving yards (850) and average yards per game (60.7)…Ranked first among tight ends in the SEC in receiving yards (850), average yards per game (60.7) and receptions (68) and ranked third in average yards per catch (12.5)…Finished his career as a Gator with a career-best game against Cincinnati in the 2010 Allstate Sugar Bowl, where he recorded nine receptions for 111 yards and one touchdown…His nine catches in the Sugar Bowl tied for seventh-most in Sugar Bowl history and matched a school record by a tight end for a game, while Hernandez and Gator wide receiver Riley Cooper teamed up to become the first receiving duo to each pass 100 receiving yards in a Sugar Bowl game since LSU’s Mark Clayton and Josh Reed did so in 2002…Had a then career-high eight catches for 85 yards in the SEC Championship Game against Alabama, becoming the first UF tight end since 1990 to record eight catches in a game…Joins Kirk Kirpatrick as the only Gator tight ends with eight catches in a single game and at least seven catches in three games…Had a tremendous game against FSU, with 83 yards receiving and two touchdowns in the victory, marking the first time since UF’s game against FSU in 2008 he had two touchdown catches…Had an outstanding day against Vanderbilt, grabbing a then career-tying seven catches for a career-high 120 yards through the air, including a career-long 64-yard grab from Tim Tebow in the fourth quarter…Following his seven catches against Vanderbilt and Arkansas, Hernandez joined Kirkpatrick as the only TE in school history to have two games with seven-plus catches in a career…Hernandez’s 64-yard reception against the Commodores was the second longest catch by a TE in the nation in 2009 at that point…Led Florida in receptions against Mississippi State on the road, grabbing five catches for 32 yards, marking the fifth game in a row that he had the most catches by a Gator…Had a big day as the Gators defeated Arkansas on Homecoming, grabbing seven receptions for 92 yards through the air, both career-bests at the time…His seven receptions against the Razorbacks were the third-most in a single game in UF history at the time, tying Gators Jim Yancey, Mike Mularkey and Kirkpatrick…Set a then new career-high for receptions in a game when he grabbed six catches for 70 yards in Florida’s 13-3 win over LSU on the road…Additionally recorded the first rush of his career, a 16-yard gain in the first quarter against LSU…Kicked off the 2009 season with 79 receiving yards versus Charleston Southern.

 

2008: Saw action in 13 of Florida’s games in 2008, securing 11 starts…Caught 34 passes for 381 yards, an 11.2 average, and five touchdowns…Led the Gators in receiving against Oklahoma in the 2009 FedEx BCS National Championship, reeling in five catches for 57 yards…Also played a key role in Florida’s eighth SEC title with three catches for 43 yards against then undefeated Alabama…Finished the season ranked first in the SEC for touchdowns by a tight end (5)…Set a career high with two receiving touchdowns on four catches for a then career-high 61 yards against Florida State…Made an acrobatic, one-handed catch against South Carolina on a five-yard TD pass from Tim Tebow, finishing third in receiving for the game with two touches for 26 yards (13.0 average)…Tied a career high for the third time against Tennessee with a receiving touchdown that opened the scoring from Tebow for Florida…Had a strong outing against Miami, reeling in five receptions for 58 yards and one score.

 

2007: Appeared in all 13 games during the season, receiving the starting nod in three contests against Troy, Florida State and Michigan…Finished his rookie season with nine receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns…Averaged 16.8 yards per catch, ranking second on the team behind Riley Cooper (22.8)…Reeled in a season-long 55-yard reception against South Carolina…Caught the first touchdown of his career against Kentucky, a one-yard strike, with 14 seconds before halftime…Had a season-high three receptions on two occasions, against Florida Atlantic and against Michigan in the Capital One Bowl…Posted season-best numbers in receiving yards against Florida Atlantic with 58 yards, including his second touchdown of the year in the third quarter, a 13-yard connection…Saw extensive action in his UF debut against Western Kentucky…Became the first true freshman to start at tight end since Tate Casey in 2004 when he lined up on the opening snap in a goal-line package against Troy.

 

PREP: Rated the No. 1 recruit at the tight end position by both Scout.com and Rivals.com…Earned a spot to play on the East team in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl after collecting 67 receptions for 1,807 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior…Also recorded 72 tackles, including 42 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and four blocked kicks as a member of the defense…Helped lead Bristol Central to the 2006 Central Connecticut Conference Southern Division Championship…Set Connecticut state records for receiving yards (1,807) and TDs (24) in a season…Set a state record for most receiving yards in a game with 376 on nine catches, which rated as the seventh-best game total in national high school history…Established a national high school record for yards receiving per game (180.7)…Tied a state record for career TD receptions with 31…Was named the 2006-07 Gatorade Football Player of the Year for the state of Connecticut and the Hartford Courant Player of the Year…Also earned first-team all-state honors…Earned all-conference honors in both senior and junior seasons…Selected Florida over Connecticut and Iowa…High school football coach was Doug Pina…Lettered in basketball.

 

PERSONAL: Born Nov. 6, 1989…Parents are Terri and the late Dennis Hernandez…Enrolled in classes at UF in Jan. 2007.

 

MAJOR: Social & Behavioral Sciences.

 

CAREER RECEIVING STATISTICS

Year       No.    Yds      Avg.        TDs   Long

2007       9       151      16.8        2       55

2008       34     381      11.2        5       38

2009       68     850      12.5        5       64

Totals:    111 1,382 12.5       12     64

 

CAREER RUSHING STATISTICS

Year       No.    Yds      Avg.        TDs   Long

2009       1       16        16.0        0       16

Totals:    1       16        16.0       0       16

 

HERNANDEZ’S CAREER HIGHS

Receptions: 9 (Cincinnati, 2009)

Receiving Yards: 120 (Vanderbilt, 2009)

Receiving TD: 2 (2x, last vs. FSU, 2009)

Longest Reception: 64 (Vanderbilt, 2009)

Rushes: 1 (LSU, 2009)

Rushing Yards: 16 (LSU, 2009)

Rushing TD: None

Longest Rush: 16 (LSU, 2009)

 

PROFILE

·          Older brother played football for Connecticut

·          Father passed away suddenly during the recruiting process, but claims offensive coordinator Steve Addazio and Coach Meyer were there for him and helped him through the emotional time

·          Well known for his numerous tattoos, each of which have a special meaning and tell his “life story,” including things that honor his late father, Dennis

·          A couple of his tattoos include, “If it is to be, it is up to me,” “Some do. Some don't,” and “Self made”

·          Nickname on the team was “Chico” because he is the only Puerto Rican on the team (paternal grandparents)

 

 

CAREER GAME-BY-GAME

 

2009

 

I------RUSHING------I

I----RECEIVING----I

I--ALL--I

Date

Opponent

No.

Yds

TD

Lg

No.

Yds

TD

Lg

purp

September 5, 2009

CHARLESTON SOUTHERN

0

0

0

0

4

79

1

28

79

September 12, 2009

TROY

0

0

0

0

4

39

0

18

39

September 19, 2009

TENNESSEE

0

0

0

0

4

26

0

18

26

September 26, 2009

at Kentucky

0

0

0

0

3

54

1

44

54

October 10, 2009

at LSU

1

16

0

16

6

70

0

26

86

October 17, 2009

ARKANSAS

0

0

0

0

7

92

0

22

92

October 24, 2009

at Mississippi State

0

0

0

0

5

32

0

15

32

October 31, 2009

vs Georgia

0

0

0

0

3

29

0

17

29

November 7, 2009

VANDERBILT

0

0

0

0

7

120

0

64

120

November 14, 2009

at South Carolina

0

0

0

0

3

30

0

12

30

November 21, 2009

FIU

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

November 28, 2009

FLORIDA STATE

0

0

0

0

5

83

2

37

83

December 5, 2009

vs Alabama

0

0

0

0

8

85

0

38

85

January 1, 2010

vs Cincinnati

0

0

0

0

9

111

1

23

111

 

Totals

1

16

0

16

68

850

5

64

866

 

2008

 

I---RUSHING---I

I---RECEIVING---I

I--ALL--I

Date

Opponent

No.

Yds

TD

Lg

No.

Yds

TD

Lg

purp

September 6, 2008

MIAMI

0

0

0

0

5

58

1

38

58

September 20, 2008

at Tennessee

0

0

0

0

2

15

1

13

15

September 27, 2008

OLE MISS

0

0

0

0

4

52

0

29

52

October 4, 2008

at Arkansas

0

0

0

0

2

15

0

10

15

October 11, 2008

LSU

0

0

0

0

2

5

0

4

5

October 25, 2008

UK

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

November 1, 2008

vs UGA

0

0

0

0

1

18

0

18

18

November 8, 2008

at Vanderbilt

0

0

0

0

2

23

0

19

23

November 15, 2008

USC

0

0

0

0

2

26

1

21

26

November 22, 2008

THE CITADEL

0

0

0

0

2

8

0

4

8

November 29, 2008

at Florida State

0

0

0

0

4

61

2

24

61

December 6, 2008

vs Alabama

0

0

0

0

3

43

0

22

43

January 8, 2009

vs Oklahoma

0

0

0

0

5

57

0

21

57

 

Totals

0

0

0

0

34

381

5

38

381

 

2007

 

I----RUSHING----I

I----RECEIVING----I

I--ALL--I

Date

Opponent

No.

Yds

TD

Lg

No.

Yds

TD

Lg

purp

September 1, 2007

WKU

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

September 8, 2007

TROY

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

September 15, 2007

UT

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

September 22, 2007

at Ole Miss

0

0

0

0

1

6

0

6

6

September 29, 2007

AUBURN

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

October 6, 2007

at LSU

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

October 20, 2007

at Kentucky

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

1

1

October 27, 2007

vs UGA

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

November 3, 2007

VANDERBILT

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

November 10, 2007

at South Carolina

0

0

0

0

1

55

0

55

55

November 17, 2007

FLORIDA ATLANTIC

0

0

0

0

3

58

1

29

58

November 24, 2007

FLORIDA STATE

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

January 1, 2008

vs Michigan

0

0

0

0

3

31

0

15

30

 

Totals

0

0

0

0

9

151

2

55

150

 

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT AARON HERNANDEZ

"He's a guy who understands their offense. He knows all the blocking schemes and all the angles." (10/09)

Les Miles, LSU Head Coach

 

"What makes him unique is that he's so athletic and he's one of those guys who can truly detach and be a legitimate receiver. He's a great route runner and has great speed. He's a hybrid tight end." (10/9/09)

Steve Addazio, UF Offensive Coordinator

 

In 23 years of coaching, he's probably the smartest football player I've been around. He's like one of those crazed super computers ... He's not even near his genetic ceiling." (9/16/09)

Brian White, UF Tight End

 

"Aaron is a dynamic player. You saw what he could do last year. He's a dynamic guy that can catch the ball like any wide receiver and make the hard catches. You can get the ball in his hands as a tailback and he's really dynamic there and he can block at the point. It's hard to find guys like that throughout this country." (8/26/09)

Steve Addazio, UF Offensive Coordinator

 

"I learned so much from C.I.; he's the one whose shoes I have to fill. He's a great player and the one who helped me all though camp. Even after he was injured, he came back and was helping me. He's the reason I'm playing and making plays right now." (9/15/08)

Aaron Hernandez, UF tight end

 

“Aaron and I have always been close and I’ve always looked up to him. I was coming down here a lot during the spring and he was always saying that if I ever needed help to go to him.  He’s a good guy to look up to. He always has a positive attitude and a smile on his face. During practice he goes hard and gets after it. I could learn from that.” (8/8/08)

T.J. Pridemore, UF Fullback

 

“He’s as improved player as we have. He’s a weapon. We’ll use him in the bowl game quite a bit. He’s a big time football player. I think he’s just scratching the surface of his potential. He’s 245 right now. [We’re going to] get him up about 250. He’s a real strong 400-pound bencher. That’s a great match-up for a defense. He’s real fast, he’s a tremendous route runner and he’s got great hands. When you go out and recruit, he’s what you look for. For us, we don’t want the 268-pound guy that can’t go down the middle of the field. He’s exactly what we look for.” (12/15/07)

Urban Meyer, UF Head Coach

 

“Especially the last four weeks, he's really improved his knowledge of the game. He's really taking his game to the next level. That's what you've seen in the last few games, him being in there in some big plays and making some catches.” (11/22/07)

Tim Tebow, UF Quarterback

 

“In high school, I was actually able to run away from more people. But the SEC is the best conference and I can't just run away from people so I've got to start dragging people with me to get those extra yards.” (11/22/07)

Aaron Hernandez

 

“Get used to that name because he blocks well too. He’s a mismatch issue. Aaron’s earned it. That has been progressing over the last seven weeks that he’s really become a good player. Seven weeks ago he was not a good player. He was a guy still feeling his way and he was still injured with his neck. Now he practices his tail off. That’s player development. He’s done a great job.” (11/18/07)

Urban Meyer, UF Head Coach

 

"When they called that play, my heart was pounding. I was really nervous right before we ran it. I just kept my eyes on Tim and the ball and then they blitzed us. I went right behind him and tried to sell the play as a run. Tebow threw a great pass." (10/20/07)

Aaron Hernandez after first career TD reception at Kentucky

 

“He’s progressing right where we want him to be. He works really hard at everything he does. He wants to be very detailed in what he does. He’s always asking good questions. He’s trying to absorb as much as he can. He’s going to play a role for us. Somewhere along the way he’s going to play a role, and hopefully very quickly. He’s got the raw ability to be a big-time tight end.”

John Hevesy, former UF tight ends’ coach

 

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