Just over a year after leaving school early and going unpicked in the 2011 NFL Draft, former Florida Gators safety Will Hill has signed with a NFL team.
Hill, who has been participating in New York Giants rookie camp since last week, was signed by the team on Monday. He last played football for the AFL’s Arizona Rattlers and spent his offseason working out in the tri-state area.
Originally from West Orange, NJ, Hill has been trying to catch the Giants’ eye since last offseason when he did not receive a single invite to a NFL camp. He participated in a Pro Day in Martinsville, NJ in March and obviously made an impression on New York.
Hill told ESPNNewYork.com over the weekend that he had to come back to Earth and humble himself before moving on with his career.
“When I was in college, I was the No. 1 athlete coming out and then going straight to a team that won the national championship, that had the possibility to win another one, it was just rock star status basically,” he said. “My head got big and I did let my gifts get away and start[ed] acting like a fool, basically. So I did waste my talent in some aspects.
“It’s been a hard time, many nights crying, many night just wondering, ‘When is this going to happen?’ But people were like, ‘Look, you’re a good athlete. Just work on being a better person.’ And that’s something I needed to do. I needed to calm down and sit down, and that’s what I did.”
Among the issues leading NFL teams to shy away from Hill a year ago were the numerous off-the-field problems he had at Florida including failing drug tests due to smoking marijuana, making poor life decisions, posting a number of more-than-questionable messages on Twitter and – as one anonymous scout said in April 2011 – being “ignorant and crazy.”
A spot opened up for Hill with the Giants after former LSU S Chad Jones, who got in a serious car accident in June 2010, was waived by New York for failing a physical while trying to make a comeback this season.
Hill now has his opportunity to prove the 31 other teams that have not paid attention to him wrong and turn his life around for the better by giving it his all for the Giants.
Photo Credit: Stephen Morton/Associated Press