Tim Tebow influenced Aaron Hernandez's decision to play college football at the University of Florida, but the legendary quarterback wasn't able to help keep the tight end out of trouble.

That's what a report on Radar.com claims, citing Hernandez's descent into drugs and trouble following the death of his father in 2006.

UPDATE: Tebow tried to break up 2007 bar fight between Aaron Hernandez and bouncer at Gainesville bar

Radar says it was Tebow who played a large role in helping convince the troubled Hernandez to leave his home state of Connecticut and come to play football for the Gators in Florida.

Radar reported: "... Hernandez made a visit to Florida, a visit that was partly hosted by Tebow, then a freshman quarterback and Hernandez made the decision – shocking to those close to him at the time – to leave home and play tight end for the Gators."

But after arriving in Gainesville, any influence Tebow may have had to help Hernandez apparently waned.

"But they weren’t close at Florida,” one person familiar with the program told Radar. “Tim .. came from a different world than Aaron.

“They didn’t hang out off the field. Sure, Tim tried to encourage him to live a good life, a religious life, just like he does with so many people. But after playing a huge role in convincing Aaron to come to Florida, Tebow lost any influence he had over Aaron, who quickly got into trouble.”

Hernandez, 23, was charged with murder and cut by the New England Patriots last week. He was cited with one count of murder and five weapons violations in the shooting death of a 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.


Roger Simmons is the executive sports editor for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via email at rsimmons@orlandosentinel.com. Or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@rogersimmons. Become a fan of the Orlando Sentinel Sports Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/orlandosentinelsports