MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (December 29, 2020) – West Virginia University senior defensive tackle Darius Stills and sophomore spear Tykee Smith were named to Sporting News’ All-America First and Second Teams, respectively, as announced by the organization.
Stills, the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year and All-Big 12 First Team honoree by the coaches and the AP, was named a first-team All-America selection by Associated Press, USA Today, Bleacher Report and ESPN and second team by The Athletic. Smith, an All-Big 12 First Team selection by the AP, was named to Pro Football Focus’ First Team All-America squad the AP All-American Third Team.
Stills becomes the first Mountaineer to earn Sporting News All-America First Team honors since David Sills V was honored in 2017, is only the second defensive lineman in school history (Bruce Bosley, 1955) to earn first-team accolades and is the 13th Mountaineer to earn first-team honors.
He, and Smith, mark only the second set of WVU players to earn a spot on one of the two teams since 2006 (Dan Mozes – 1st team, Steve Slaton – 1st team) and are the 17th and 18th WVU players to earn a spot on the Sporting News team in school history. Smith is the fourth WVU player to earn All-American second team honors (Ryan Stanchek – 2007, Garin Justince – 2005, Brian Smider – 1988).
Stills finished the 2020 regular season with 22 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss and an interception. He also registered 10.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss over the past two seasons. Stills was a semifinalist for the 2020 Lott Impact Award, given to college football’s top defensive player on and off the field and a semifinalist for the Senior CLASS Award. He earned the Chuck Bednarik Player of the Week Award, Reese’s Senior Bowl and Co-Big 12 Player of the Week (Oct. 6) when he registered four tackles, including three unassisted tackles, 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss against Baylor.
Smith is tied for the team lead in interceptions (2), second in tackles for loss (8.0) and tied for second in tackles (61) and solo tackles (33). He finished with six or more tackles in the final eight games of the season, including a season-high nine tackles against TCU. He had two tackles for loss against Kansas and Texas Tech and registered an interception that led WVU to the double-overtime victory against Baylor.
West Virginia (5-4) faces Army-West Point (9-2) in the 62nd AutoZone Liberty Bowl at Liberty Bowl Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee, on Thursday, December 31, at 4 p.m., ET and will be televised by ESPN.
West Virginia Sporting News All-American First Team Selections
2020 – Darius Stills, DL
2017 – David Sills V, WR
2010 – Robert Sands, S
2006 – Dan Mozes, OC, Steve Slaton, Running Back
2003 – Grant Wiley, LB
1992 – Mike Compton, OL
1984 – Willie Drewery, Special Teams
1983 – Paul Woodside, K
1982 – Darryl Talley, LB
1970 – Dale Farley, LB
1955 – Bruce Bosely, DL
West Virginia Sporting News All-American Second-Team Selections
2020 – Tykee Smith, S
2007 – Ryan Stanchek, OL
2005 – Garin Justice, OL
1988 – Brian Smider, OL
Press Release Courtesy of WVU Sports