MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Football’s senior defensive tackle Dante Stills was named to the 2021 Outland Trophy Preseason Watch List back on Jul. 27. The trophy, presented to the nation’s most impressive interior lineman, finds a home following a decision by the Football Writers Association of America. When the association announced its 80 selections for 2021, the Big 12 Conference ended up with eight players, four of whom will clash at the line of scrimmage tonight in Norman, Ok.
This Big 12 showdown has two of our Watch Listers. @WVUFootball, with @Dstills55 in its interior line, is 4th nationally in TFL’s (10.3). @OU_Football is 5th nationally at 4.3 sacks/game and 9th at 9.0 TFL’s/game. DT @pdontplay has 2.5 sacks. They play at 7:30 ET on ABC. pic.twitter.com/RANuX36yS7
— Outland Trophy (@outlandtrophy) September 23, 2021
Stills enters Week 4 of his senior season already having accrued four tackles, two TFLs, and a sack. Coming off a junior season that produced All-Big 12 Conference First Team and Second Team honors, the 2021 preseason treated him well. He earned Preseason All-America Second and Fourth Team nods, as well as Preseason All-Big 12 Conference First and Second Team honors. His inclusion on the Outland Trophy Watch List was the cherry on top of his three consistent seasons of hard work for this Mountaineer football program.
Tonight, he’ll line up across from Sooner guards Tyrese Robinson and Marquis Hayes. The final Oklahoma watch list member, Perrion Winfrey, will be on the opposite side of the ball, at defensive tackle.
Occupying the right guard slot, redshirt senior Robinson will give this WVU defensive line a run for its money; he’s started all three of the No. 4 Sooners’ 2021 slate, notching two tackles in Game 1 against Tulane and two more unassisted, as well as an assist, during Week 3’s Nebraska win.
Fellow redshirt senior Hayes joined Stills on the Preseason All-Big 12 First Team. The left guard has also started all three games, but hasn’t registered any stats thus far.
The Robinson and Hayes combination, coupled with the remaining Sooner offense, has produced the No. 6 scoring offense in the country and holds opponents to a single Spencer Rattler sack, surrendered in Week 2 vs. Western Carolina.
Senior nose guard Winfrey, who will line up across from WVU’s center Zach Frazier, has taken the Big 12 Conference by storm. He currently ranks third in the conference with 2.5 tackles, and he joins WVU BANDIT Jared Bartlett and Stills on the Bronko Nagurski Watch List. Additionally, when he came to Norman from Iowa Western Community College in 2020, he was rated the No. 1 JUCO recruit in the country by both 247Sports and ESPN. His defensive line ranks fifth in the country, collecting 4.3 sacks per game, and ninth, recording nine tackles for loss a game.
It’ll be a hard-fought battle tonight; the Sooners still have a 16-point advantage in the spread, but Stills’ defense is the reigning No. 1 red zone defense in the country. Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m. EST on ABC.