Hernandez Leaning on CI

Aaron Hernandez knew he was going to play a role in the Gator offense this season, but when his mentor Cornelius Ingram went down during fall camp, his role increased substantially. Even with CI out of the lineup, Hernandez still leans on him for advice.

Hernandez had a career game against Miami, catching five passes for 58 yards including a 14-yard pass from Tim Tebow for Florida's first touchdown in the first quarter. Hernandez said he's leaned on Ingram for support during the young season.

"When I was behind him, I was always watching how he used his big body and got away form defenders," Hernandez said. "I would ask him to help me out, and he helped me learn how to get off the ball quicker against cornerbacks and linebackers."

Hernandez has looked to Ingram as more than just a mentor, but also as a close friend.

"He's one of my best friends," Hernandez said. "He lives right behind me, and he's been helping even before I moved off of campus."

Hernandez knew after the spring he was going to play a big role in the offense, but that role obviously increased with Ingram's injury.

"We had the two tight end set, so I was expecting to play anyway," Ingram said. "Not as much as CI, but when he got hurt, one of my best friends, I've been leaning on him a lot. I just know I have to go in there and do what he did and just make plays."

Saturday will be Hernandez's first trip to Knoxville. It will rival the atmosphere that he experienced in Baton Rouge when the Gators faced LSU last season.

"They say it's crazy and sometimes louder than our place," Hernandez said. "They say the fans are crazy. I actually like away games, and I hope we can get out of there with a win."

Hernandez thinks the weapons the Gators have on offense will be enough to get a win on Saturday.

"It's an SEC team," he said. "They're fast, strong and they go to the ball. … We have everything. We have the speed to go outside. We have Kestahn Moore to go inside. Basically, we can do everything, and I think we'll keep doing everything."

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