Stills Named One of College Football's Top Returning Players
On December 6th, 2019, West Virginia football fans were relieved to hear that star defensive lineman Darius Stills would forgo the 2020 NFL Draft and return for his senior season.
Stills had a breakout year under new defensive coordinator Vic Koenning. The new scheme allowed Stills to showcase his athleticism and enabled him to create plays in the backfield - something he was restricted by in the 3-3-5 defense.
In his first two years in Morgantown, the Fairmont, WV native only registered 13 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and one sack in limited action. During those two years, Stills mainly lined up across from the center as a true nose tackle and often times was getting doubled teamed. His main role was to fill run gaps and allow room for the guys in the second level to come down and make a play, whereas this system frees him up to do so much more.
As a junior in 2019, Stills was unleashed. He racked up 42 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 7 sacks, which pegged him 6th in the Big 12 in TFL's and tied 2nd in the league in sacks with his brother, Dante.
Stills' breakout season caught the attention of many NFL scouts and had him considering leaving school early. However, he announced on Twitter that he would be returning for one more ride at Mountaineer Field.
With the news of Stills returning, FOX College Football tabbed him as one of the nation's top returners in a list that has some serious star power.
Earlier this fall, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay had this to say about Stills, "To be clear, I’m not certain that Stills, a junior, will leave school and declare for the draft after this season. I would guess he waits a year and enters the 2021 draft. But the talent is real, and he is playing his tail off this season for the Mountaineers. I have a close eye on this kid as a future mid-round value pick.”