Dante Stills considered turning pro following the 2020 season, he wanted to turn pro in fact, but the senior defensive tackle ultimately decided that he was not satisfied with his performance and chose to return to West Virginia for his senior season in 2021. Time will tell how that decision will play out for Stills in the long run but it is putting him in good standing so far this offseason. ProFootballFocus recently named Stills the third-best interior defensive lineman returning to college football in 2021.
PFF’s Anthony Trease writes of Stills:
“Stills emerged as a mauler in the run game last year and was undoubtedly the best interior defensive lineman in the Big 12. His 90.2 run-defense grade ranked second to Alim McNeill (formerly of NC State, now with the Detroit Lions) for the best in the Power Five. He came away with 15 tackles for loss or no gain — four more than anyone else in the Power Five. And he was one of three interior defensive linemen to finish with top-10 marks in negatively and positively graded play rate against the run.”
In his third season as a full-time starter, Stills recorded a career-high 35 tackles with 10.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in 10 games in 2020. He was named a Big 12 honorable mention following the season. Stills will be WVU’s most experienced defensive lineman in 2021.
PFF also named former Mountaineer Tykee Smith as the nation’s top returner at safety. Smith transferred to Georgia earlier this offseason. Marshall’s Cain Madden was tabbed as the second-best returning interior offensive lineman.