Early life and education
Aaron Josef Hernandez was born in
 the son of Dennis Hernandez, who was of
Puerto Rican descent, and Terri Valentine-Hernandez, who is of
Italian descent. He had a brother Dennis, Jr., known as D.J. Their father Dennis died in January 2006 from complications from
hernia surgery, when Aaron Hernandez was 16.
 According to Hernandez's mother, his father's death greatly affected their son; he acted out his grief by rebelling against authority figures.
Bristol Central High School. He played there for the Rams as a
wide receiver until becoming a
tight end, and also played
 As a senior, he was Connecticut's
Gatorade Football Player of the Year after making 67
for 1,807 yards and 24
touchdowns on offense and 72
sacks, three forced
fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and four blocked kicks on defense.
 The 1,807 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns were state records. Hernandez's 31 career touchdowns tied the state record. He also set the state record for receiving yards in a single game with 376, the seventh-best in national high school history; he set a national high school record for yards receiving per game with 180.7. Hernandez was considered the top tight-end recruit in 2007 by