David Nelson: Aaron Hernandez ‘Was Who He Hung Out With’

New York Jets wide receiver David Nelson played his college football at the University of Florida. He was a member of the 2006 and 2008 national championship teams for the Gators, and was a teammate of Aaron Hernandez from 2007-09. On Friday he sat down with the “Boomer and Carton” show to discuss, among other things, Hernandez.

Nelson first learned of Hernandez’s arrest for murder while in Haiti – he spends time on the island as part of his i’m ME foundation. While he was shocked, the wideout wasn’t blind to the fact that Hernandez had some troubling tendencies.

“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.

“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.”

Nelson went on to say that Hernandez had a habit of being influenced by the company he kept. For that reason, Urban Meyer made sure to surround him with players such as Nelson and Tim Tebow during his tenure in Gainesville. However, as fame and fortune of the NFL hit him, Hernandez began running with the wrong crowd – ultimately landing him behind bars.

“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.”

“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.

For more of Nelson’s interview, including video, check out CBS Sports.