Following a First-Team All-Big 12 caliber season, West Virginia defensive tackle Darius Stills would almost certainly have been taken in the 202 NFL Draft. Despite that, however, Stills announced at the beginning of December that he would instead return to WVU for his senior season.
After a 14.5-tackles for loss, seven-sack season in 2019, the elder Stills brother began to receiver some national attention, which has continued into this offseason. Announced today, Stills has been named to the Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list for the 2020 season.
The award, named after hall of famer Ronnie Lott, goes to college football’s “Impact Player of the Year”. The 2020 watch list includes 42 players, 16 linebackers, 15 defensive backs and 11 defensive linemen.
Stills, a WV native, led the Mountaineers in tackles for loss and tied for the team lead in sacks with his younger brother, Dante, last season. He also finished fifth in the Big 12 in TFL and tied for second in sacks.
Bother Stills brothers started to garner some national attention following WVU’s 17-14 Halloween loss to Baylor, in which the Mountaineers took the No. 12 Bears to the wire.
In that game, the Stills brothers combined for 13 tackles, five for a loss and five sacks. Darius had 10 tackles, with three sacks himself. That performance drew high praise from then-Baylor coach Matt Rhule.
“Stills, 56, is one of the best players we’ve played against,” Rhule said following the game. “He’s everything I thought he was going to be and 55, his brother, lights out. He does it against everybody and I love him.”
WVU’s defensive line should be a strength of the team in 2020, with the Stills brothers joined by returners Taijh Alston and Jeffery Pooler Jr. as well as newcomer Quay Mays.
Also named to the Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list are linebackers Terrel Bernard from Baylor, Caleb Kelly from Oklahoma, Aman Ogbongbemiga from Oklahoma State, Joseph Ossai from Texas and Garret Wallow from TCU. Since its inception in 2004, TCU’s Jerry Hughes in 2009 is the only Big 12 player to ever win the award.