David Nelson on Aaron Hernandez: 'He was who he hung out with'

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

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Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is currently in jail awaiting trial on first-degree murder charges in the shooting death of Odin Lloyd (he was also recently indicted in a double-murder drive-by). On Friday, Jets wide receiver David Nelson, who played with Hernandez at the University of Florida, talked with WFAN's Boomer and Carton about his former teammate.

"You know, there was definitely some tendencies -- I'd be lying to you if I said their wasn't -- but it was a huge surprise," Nelson told Boomer Esiason on whether he was shocked to learn Hernandez had been charged with murder.

"I was in Haiti when I got the call (about Hernandez) -- somebody from Sports Illustrated called me in Haiti and said 'I want to talk to you about Aaron Hernandez,'" Nelson continued. "... They told me the situation and it really shocked me. Because this is a guy I saw get into a fight in practice and crying 15 minutes later because he had just hurt his teammate.

"So this was a guy who was extremely sensitive, he was extremely vulnerable, but the thing is, he was who he hung out with. So if he was hanging out with somebody he was very influenced."

Esiason pointed out that Hernandez fell to the fourth round of the NFL Draft because of off-field concerns.

"We were always a little afraid when he would go back home (to Connecticut)," Nelson said. "We didn't know who he was hanging out with ... we didn't know what he was doing. When he was in Gainesville ... Coach (Urban) Meyer really did a great job of putting him around people that coach trusted, like Tim (Tebow). Tim and Aaron hung out a lot. Myself and Aaron hung out a lot. So, yeah, you saw some issues with him in college, but they were minor -- some drug stuff and that was about it -- but nothing to this extreme.

"So he started to hang out with the wrong crowd, get a lot of fame, a lot of money, start to get that 'I can do whatever I want,' invincible kind of mentality a lot of NFL guys get, and I think you saw him make a really bad mistake," Nelson said.

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