Between practices, games, team meetings, and other events, Hernandez put 40 to 60 hours a week into football, nearly year-round. He later said that he was high on drugs every time he took the field. As a freshman in 2007, Hernandez started three games for the Florida Gators. He finished the season with nine receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Though he excelled in his freshman year, he was benched in the season opener of his sophomore year due to a failed drug test. Following that, he started eleven of thirteen games during the 2008 season in place of the injured Cornelius Ingram and finished the season with 34 receptions for 381 yards and five touchdowns. In the 2009 BCS National Championship Game against the Oklahoma Sooners, Hernandez led the Gators in receiving yards with 57 on five receptions, as the Gators defeated the Sooners 24–14 to win their second BCS championship in three seasons.