Former five-star recruit Will Hill's future at crossroads after latest suspension

Kristian Dyer
Will Hill
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There was a time when New York Giants safety Will Hill was on top of the world.

After word came out on Friday that the NFL handed Hill a six-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, he could be out of a job.

It has been a steady decline for Hill, and mostly his own doing.

Just six years ago, Hill was one of the top recruits in his class after four standout years at St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, N.J. He was a five-star recruit according to Rivals.com, the top safety in the country and the No. 10 recruit overall. He chose Florida among his many offers. He was supposed to be Florida's next great defensive player. An All-American safety. A NFL superstar. Whatever the label, he was supposed to be it.

Now Hill's football future is in jeopardy, despite three solid years in the NFL. Sources tell Yahoo Sports that the Giants could cut ties with Hill after this latest suspension.

Friday’s suspension is the third time in as many seasons that he has been suspended, one for a violation of the policy on performance-enhancing drugs (he claimed it was Adderall) and two for the substance-abuse policy (he admitted to a failed marijuana test last year). Especially troubling is teammates told NJ.com that he seemed to be on the right path.

"A lot of us were surprised," close friend and former Giants teammate Deon Grant told NJ.com. "It was the last thing that we thought we'd be getting from him as far as his situation. Throughout the season, when I was talking to him, I was trying to get it through to him. 'Do you know how much you could be worth if you just get serious and get focused?' And we were on the same page."

NJ.com reported that Hill told friends the positive test came from second-hand smoke after people around him were using marijuana at a club. His history makes it more difficult to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Hill left Florida after three years, including a junior season where he was suspended for marijuana use – likely the first red flag to appear. Despite a decent college resume, he went undrafted because of character concerns and instead had to play in the Arena Football League in 2011. The Giants signed him after that AFL stint but since then he has been in trouble multiple times, arrested for failing to pay child support as well as three league suspensions.

Despite the Giants' issues in the secondary last year, Hill can't be counted on. The team also signed two safeties in free agency, Quentin Demps and Stevie Brown, and drafted San Diego State’s Nat Berhe in the fifth round. With these additions there simply might be no need to have a risk like Hill on the roster.

Last season, he was ranked in the top half of all safeties in the league by Pro Football Analytics based off of his regular season play. He has the ability to be a good player in the NFL, but his opportunity to do so might be running out.

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Kristian R. Dyer writes for Metro New York and is a contributor to Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KristianRDyer