MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Being the underdog is what some thrive off of and West Virginia’s Adam Stilley is no different.
In 2017, the Martinsburg, W.Va. native passed on accepting football scholarships to several Division II schools and chose to enroll with the Mountaineers as a preferred walk-on.
Last season he didn’t see the field but Stilley has made his presence known this fall.
Since camp began just over two weeks ago, the redshirt sophomore has impressed both his coaches and teammates with his work ethic and ability to get it done on the field.
“Stilley has done a really good job,” WVU offensive coordinator Matt Moore said. “He’s been solid. I wouldn’t say he’s in the mix to start but he’s became a solid backup. Smart player, does a good job but he’s been consistent more than anything. He’s done a really good job of keeping in the hunt. He actually lined there as the starting center a couple times in practice and got some reps at it. So I would definitely say I’d trust him during a game.”
Stilley attributes his success this far to hard work and just fueling off being counted out.
“I kind of like it, a little chip on my shoulder,” he said. “I just like working hard everyday, putting the extra hours in the weight room and extra hours in the film room.”
Since arriving in Morgantown, the 6-foot offensive lineman has done diligence with the Mountaineers strength and conditioning staff to get his body right.
“When I originally came here I think I was 258 or something like that,” Stilley said. “That’s where Mike Joseph and his strength staff (come in). I feel like he’s the best in the nation. He’s helped me so much.. I’m up to 290 right now and I feel just as fast as I was when I got here.”
While Stilley has bulked up, he is still often considered undersized but that doesn’t concern him.
“I feel like size is in your heart and your head,” he said. “I’ve been told I’m undersized my whole life and I just keep working hard and the sky’s the limit I believe.”
There will always be people who say he’s too small, an in-state kid, a walk-on or whatever the case may be but he will try and beat the odds.
“Their is always doubters. Their is always people who say ‘you’re too small you can’t do it'” Stilley said. “You just got to use it as motivation.”
The Martinsburg High School graduate strives to get better and do whatever he can to help his team this year.
“I just want to keep working hard and do the best for my team. Everyday I get a little bit better,” he said.
Coming from the eastern panhandle, Stilley knows how important WVU is to the state and its residents. Now, he is living a dream among his dream school.
Most importantly, Stilley has a chance to make a difference.
“Being an in-state guy, When I was a kid, I always grew up watching the games. I’ve always loved the Mountaineers'” he said. “I am blessed to have this opportunity to play for the Mountaineers.”
Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS