Failed marijuana tests led to Hernandez’s draft fall

By Adam Silverstein
April 27, 2010

For weeks leading up to the 2010 NFL Draft, two primary criticisms surrounded former Florida Gators tight end Aaron Hernandez: his lack of prototypical size for the position and “character concerns.” While specific information was not available for quite some time regarding these mysterious personality issues, The Boston Globe is now reporting that the questions about Hernandez’s character came from “multiple failed drug tests for marijuana” during his time at Florida.

The Florida tight end passed his drug test at the combine, according to the long-time executive [interviewed for the story who said Hernandez “admits to it”], so he won’t start his NFL career in the league’s substance-abuse program. But because of his past history, he is subject to more tests.

A source close to Hernandez said to his knowledge, the tight end failed just one drug test at Florida, in February 2008, and not multiple tests, but conceded that the player’s marijuana use had been a problem and was the primary reason for his fall down the draft board.


The explanation Hernandez gave to teams was that his drug use stemmed from the 2006 death of his father, Dennis, who died of complications following hernia surgery while Hernandez was a junior at Bristol (Conn.) Central High.
The drug problem followed him to Gainesville, where he enrolled in 2007.

“It’s not like he failed one test,’’ said the AFC college scout. “He had repeated issues with it, to the point where you worry about whether he’ll be able to lay off the stuff at our level. To be honest, he’s super talented and, even with the issues, I’m surprised he fell as far he did.”

Hernandez would go on to shine during the 2008 season and continued his success as the 2009 Mackey Award winner (nation’s best tight end). Initially projected to be a first- or second-round pick, he fell to the fourth round of the NFL Draft before being selected by the New England Patriots with the No. 113 overall pick.

Photo Credit: John Biever/Sports Illustrated


  1. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    This explains the drop and it’s another black eye on the program and you know the rivals are going to ask how this kid was still playing if it was multiple tests?

  2. Joe says:

    I don’t normally clump and sum, but EVERY program in the nation has athletes that smoke marijuana.

    That’s a fact.

  3. Wingtee says:

    True Drew! That is why I cringe when Gator fans mock UM or FSU when one of their players acres up. Right now we are kind of # 1 in the state when it comes to screwing up.

  4. 1 2 3 4 5 AND THA GATA DON'T TAKE NO JIVE says:

    Hey Hey Heyyyy Smoke Weed Everyday Go Gataz

  5. ReptilesRule says:

    Man, that was some EXPENSIVE weed! I, for one, am very happy they are taking drug use and character into account. And the biggest account seems to be the bank account…maybe some of these kids will actually start to get the message. Maybe.

  6. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    The same issue cost Percy quite a bit on his first contract

  7. Wingtee says:

    Thanks for the input Corriene. U R a true Gata

  8. 1 2 3 4 5 AND THA GATA DON'T TAKE NO JIVE says:

    Wingtee.. I luv da Gataz!

  9. Sarasota 'cane says:

    That crap should be legal, or at least de-criminalized. Alcohol, tobacco, and most prescription drugs are 10 times more deadly than weed.

  10. Gio Showtime says:

    Told you. I would say more of what I know but I’m not into putting Gators down. Urban’s recruits are from all walks of life and when you recruit talent at that level you just trust that you’re coaching staff and Gainesville will keep these “character concerns” in check. Considering most of these guys’ backgrounds, I think Urban has done a decent job at helping them mature into young men. But then there are some athletes (ahem Marcus Gilbert) who come from privileged background and have already developed the Roethlisberger Complex (you should see this guy when he drinks), which doesn’t help the situation at all. Sorry for the rant lol

  11. Sarasota 'cane says:

    Smoking weed is no more of a character concern than drinking a beer to get drunk. They are both done for the same reason. Ron Wilson did not fire an AK-47 into the air because he was high on weed! In a perfect world no one would ingest any mood altering chemicals, but since we don’t live in a perfect world, I would rather encounter a stranger who is high on weed than a stranger who is blackout drunk.

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