Following a successful day of fall camp, defensive line coach Andrew Jackson said his group of linemen have shown great improvement this year, describing them as being more consistent, with better leadership and competitiveness.

Jackson says this leadership is led by two veterans of the program, Dante Stills and Taijh Alston.

While Stills had an impressive 2021 season, finishing the season with 36 tackles and a selection to the All-Big 12 First Team, Jacksons says he has seen even more improvement.

“He’s doing the little things right,” Jackson said. “He’s playing good football, has good technique, is leading by example… it’s been good to see.”

Jackson also described Stills as being “a lot more relaxed” this year, saying he has been a great example to the less experienced players in the room.

Alston also leads the line as a sixth-year senior; Jackson said that Alston has made an impact in the offseason, helping his younger teammates “get to his level.”

While Stills and Alston are projected starters on the defensive line, Jackson says that his second and third team players have been impressing him throughout camp. The room is “a lot deeper than last year,” according to Jackson, and there are about ten players that could see some time in the rotation.

“It’s a testament to the way these guys have been working,” Jackson said.

Two players that are looking to see some action are West Virginia natives Sean Martin and Zeiqui Lawton. Martin, a sophomore, saw action in all 13 games last year and finished with 16 tackles.

“He’s taken off,” said Jackson, describing Martin. “He’s really confident. I think he understands how big he is and how strong he is.”

Jackson says Martin will “play everywhere,” depending on the game week and matchups.

Redshirt freshman Lawton transferred to WVU after one season at Cincinnati and has brought a new energy to the room.

“He’s been a good change of pace,” Jackson said. “He’s also another guy that can talk about West Virginia and what the fanbase means to this program.”

Another new face to the program is freshman Asani Redwood. Jackson has seen the potential early in Redwood, saying “he’s going to be a good one.”

Among the rotation are a few returning faces, including Jalen Thorton and Jordan Jefferson. Jackson described Thorton as being “super confident” and said Jefferson is “becoming a complete player.”

Georgia Tech transfer Mike Lockhart also adds some depth to the room. Coach Jackson said that his group has one “common thread”: its competitiveness. With just three weeks until kickoff, Jackson has some tough decisions to make regarding his second and third teams.