Excerpt: "The Giants’ bye week prompted a sigh of relief from most players, offering them the opportunity to rest body and mind.
For Will Hill, an undrafted rookie safety, there was no such reaction. He has already had the game taken from him twice.
Hill was a top recruit from Jersey City who went to the University of Floridabut was suspended after his junior season for an unspecified violation of team rules. He declared for the 2011 draft but was not selected, partly as a result of questions about his character.
The Giants signed him as a free agent before this season. But he was forced to sit out again, serving a four-game suspension until earlier this month for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. He said he took Adderall, which was prescribed by a doctor to help him deal with attention deficit disorder.
On each occasion, Hill said the time away deepened his appreciation for the game. Last Sunday, he had a fumble recovery on a punt in a 31-13 loss to Cincinnati, his first game back.
There’s “nothing like being amongst your teammates and your coaches,” he said before he was activated.
He admits he once took that camaraderie for granted. Hill, an all-state performer as a quarterback, safety and kick returner in high school, led St. Peter’s Prep to a three-year record of 34-2. Several scouting services had him rated as the top high school safety after his senior season, and he was recruited by seemingly every major college program.
Lance Adams, 28, who attended Florida and has mentored Hill for the last six years, tried to warn him that such attention carried the potential for great harm.
“I used to tell him that he would have to learn to deal with two things in life: adversity and prosperity,” Adams said.
Hill heard those words. He did not listen.
“I just knew I was going to be that guy that made a lot of money,” he said. “I just did what I wanted to do.” Read more...