- Field Yates, ESPN Insider
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Former Patriots wide receiver and current free agent Deion Branch recently conducted his eighth annual Skills and Drills camp at Albany State in his native Albany, Georgia, during which he addressed the situation surrounding his former teammate, Aaron Hernandez, in an interview with the Albany Herald.
“Aaron is a great guy and a great friend of mine and a great teammate,” Branch told the newspaper. “I love him to death, and it was shocking to hear his name involved in this situation. I truly hope and pray he doesn’t have any dealings with it.”
Branch was re-acquired by the Patriots after four plus seasons in Seattle during the 2010 season, Hernandez's rookie season. He has been with the Patriots since that time, playing in 10 games last season and catching 16 passes.
“That’s my guy, man,” he added of Hernandez. “That’s my guy. It really shocked me. He was a great kid. Overall, I hope the best that he isn’t involved with it and I hope he gets his name cleared, but most importantly I send my prayers and condolences out to the Lloyd family.”
Branch stressed to the newspaper that his greatest concern justice being brought to the situation, and he shared his condolences for the family of Odin Lloyd, the victim of the crime Hernandez has been charged for.
“Nobody deserves to walk, whoever the person is that did it,” Branch said. “Most of all what we as Americans need to understand is that is somebody’s child that was a victim. That’s somebody’s dad, and my prayers and thoughts go out to his family and hope that they bring whoever did this to their child to justice, regardless of who it is.”