Berry Tramel

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Oklahoma football: The Sooners' brush with Aaron Hernandez

by Berry Tramel Modified: June 21, 2013 at 11:25 pm •  Published: June 21, 2013

The biggest name in American sport today might not be LeBron James. The Heat’s NBA championship might be trumped by the trouble facing New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who, according to ABC News, is expected to be arrested by Massachusetts authorities for  obstruction of justice in connection with a homicide investigation.

Wow.

Maybe you’ve followed Hernandez’s New England career. He’s teamed with Rob Gronkowski to give the Patriots two hybrid tight ends that can confuses defenses and give Tom Brady a major advantage. Over three NFL seasons, Hernandez has 175 catches and 18 touchdowns.

Now his career, not to mention his life, is in turmoil. The warrant was prepared after police discovered that the security system at Hernandez’s home, along with his cellphone, were destroyed, sources told ABC News. Hernandez, 23, has been at the center of the investigation since the body of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player, was found shot in the back of the head Monday in an industrial park near Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough.

Wow again.

OU fans might remember Hernandez from his college days at Florida, He was a Gator tight end on the team that beat the Sooners 24-14 in the Big Bowl for the 2008 national championship. Hernandez was Tim Tebow’s leading receiver that night in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Hernandez caught three passes on a drive late in the first quarter, including a 7-yard gain on a 3rd-and-5 and a 21-yarder on a 3rd-and-3. The latter gave Florida a first down at OU’s 21-yard line. Three plays later, Tebow threw a touchdown pass that gave the Gators a 7-0 lead,

Hernandez came up big again in the fourth quarter. With Florida leading 17-14, Ahmad Black’s interception of a Sam Bradford pass gave the Gators possession at the UF 24-yard line. On Florida’s next play, Tebow and Hernandez teamed on a 13-yard completion, and the Gators were off and running. Ten plays later, on 3rd-and-6 at the OU 16-yard line, Tebow hit Hernandez for a 9-yard gain. Two plays later, Florida had a touchdown, a 24-14 lead and, with just 3:07 left in the game, the national title.

Or maybe you don’t remember Hernandez. It was hard to stand out on that loaded Florida team. Tebow. Percy Harvin. The great Pouncey twins on the offensive line; Mike has made 32 starts in two NFL seasons,  and Maurkice is an all-pro center.

Linebacker Brandon Spikes, safety Major Wright and cornerback Joe Haden? NFL starters all. David Nelson, Riley Cooper and Louis Murphy are NFL receivers. At least 11 other Gators off that team are in the NFL. But how much longer will Aaron Hernandez be in the NFL?

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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