Dante Stills has been an active part of the Mountaineer defensive line for three years now. The senior, from Fairmont, West Virginia, has been a key player since his freshman year, which is now turning into a leadership role as he finishes out his Mountaineer career.
Stills came to West Virginia in 2018. Currently, he ranks third on the WVU defense in sacks and has registered 16 tackles so far this year. Stills was also named a The Athletic Freshman All-American and a ESPN Freshman All-American.
The Stills name is not new to the West Virginia football program — with Dante’s brother Darius being on the team last season, before taking his talents to the next level. Dante follows closely in his brother ‘s footsteps who was a Consensus All-American and All-Big 12 defensive lineman last season for the Mountaineers.
Stills’ sophomore year he ranked tenth in the Big 12 in tackles for loss per game. He was also the team leader in sacks.
Last year, Stills started all 10 games at defensive end. Stills had plans on leaving West Virginia to enter the NFL draft in 2020, but ultimately decided he wasn’t where he needed to be to make that move.
After a close game against Oklahoma this past weekend, Stills was asked by the media what he would grade the defensive line so far into this season.
“We’re handling business. Definitely things to work on. You never want to be satisfied, but we’re definitely coming along and I just feel like we’re doing our thing up front,” Stills said.
WVU has shown that they have what it takes when it comes to the defensive line, and Stills helps out with this incredibly. Stills has a lot of star potential and has continued to show that since he became a part of the program in 2018.
While all the potential is there, there is still room for improvement, and Stills tries to take from his older brother when he needs guidance.
“All Darius tells me is to do my job and play hard that’s all you can do.”
After giving up only 16 points this past weekend against Oklahoma, Stills talked about the defense’s ability to have to finish their job to try and get a win.
“We did a great job. They’re obviously a great football team and we thought we were better than them but we didn’t get the job done and it’s kind of like we did enough but we didn’t do enough,” Stills said.
Ultimately, this team will go as far as the defense goes, and the defense will go as far as Stills can take them. Moving forward, Stills will look to continue to be a leader, but at the end of the day just wants to win.
“Of course people remember the wins, but the losses, especially in a close game like that against a top-five ranked opponent, this will sit for a while. But you just have to move on and get better.”