"We used to wrestle together. He would motivate me,'' said Lamichhanne, who also attended the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. When he last talked to him, about a year ago, Lamichhane said that Tsarnaev told him, "I am not doing as well as I expected."
Tsarnaev graduated in 2011 from Rindge & Latin, and was both a team captain and an all-star wrestler. His coach told the Boston Globe that he was "just one of us."
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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is currently enrolled as a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, a university spokesman said.
The three young friends said they only remembered Dzhokhar Tsarnaev mentioning his father once.
Peter Tenzin said he was also involved in a program called "Best Buddies" with Tsarnaev that helped kids with learning disorders
"It's a program where kids would meet up and we would take time and we would really do arts and crafts, eat, play," said Tenzin. "He was really involved into it."
UMass Dartmouth was evacuated Friday, and dozens of students stood in small clusters on the grassy shoulders of the entrance way to campus, waiting in many cases for family or friends to take them back home.
Student Alyse Peak said that "it came as a shock" to learn that the campus was linked to one of worst crimes in Boston history. She was waiting to go from the evacuated campus back to Boston, which is locked down. She said that she was hoping to "get through and get home."
Patric Yaghoobian, 20, of Millbury, Mass., a sophomore electrical engineering major, said he lived in the dorm room next to Tsarnaev this year. He said that he had a casual relationship with suspect, who was also a sophomore.
"I'd see him coming and out of his room and around campus," he said. "He seemed like a normal, calm kid. He didn't seem to be angry and he never had an angry expression on his face."
Yaghoobian said he would glance into Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's room now and then if the door was open. He called it an "average college room, like mine even. Nothing on the walls that really stuck out."
Yaghoobian said that he knew Tsarnaev when both were freshmen and that "nothing changed from last year to this year. He did not have a high profile on campus."
Student Corinna Caraballo, 19, a freshman marketing major, said: "I'm scared. It's a scary thought that he was under the same roof as us ... going to school with us, nonchalantly. And he's still hiding somewhere."
Freshman Nicole Larriu, 19, said that she, too, would be "concerned for my safety" until Tsarnaev was caught.
The FBI conducted interviews with relatives of the two brothers Friday morning at a home in the Washington suburb of Gaithersburg, Md., according to Richard Wolf, an FBI spokesman.
The Tsarnaev brothers and their two sisters moved to the Dagestan region of Russia in October 2001 from the central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan as refugees, and left for the U.S in March 2002, said Emirmagomed Davudov, director of Gimnasium Number 1 in Dagestan, where Tamerlan went to the seventh grade and Dzhokhar to the first grade.
Ruslan Tsarni, their uncle in Gaithersburg, said that his brother's children immigrated to the U.S. in 2003, arriving in Cambridge. Asked for a possible motive for the attacks, Tsarni called them "losers not being able to settle themselves and thereby just hating everybody who did."
Courant staff writers Edmund H. Mahony and Denise Buffa contributed to this story. Los Angeles Times and wire reports are also included.