MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WV Information) — Simply as Neal Brown’s Tuesday press convention was reaching its finish, virtually a half hour into it and after as soon as they tried to chop it off, he accepted one last query and it was in regards to the defensive position.
He wasted no time singling out senior defensive sort out Dante Stills, which was no shock.
Since he joined brother Darius on campus 4 years in the past the expectations surrounding him have been large and, to be sincere, it did not occur instantly.
However now this All-Huge 12 performer, who was chosen because the Huge 12’s pre-season defensive lineman of the 12 months, has hit full stride and Brown merely says he is taking part in the very best he is performed in his profession.
You’ve got all seen it, together with an enormous key sack within the closing minutes of West Virginia’s upset victory over Iowa State final week.
However there’s a flip aspect to what you see and that may be what you do not see, one thing Brown known as he heaped reward upon Dante Stills.
“Dante — and I do not pay as a lot consideration to the stat sheet as most individuals — Dante has performed his finest soccer the final month. Generally that exhibits on the D-line with sacks and tackles for losses, however generally it would not.
“He is finished his job — and Ahkeem Mesidor the identical — which has enabled our linebackers to play higher, our different D-linemen to play higher.”
The linebacker who has benefitted most is WVU’s main tackler, Josh Chandler-Semedo, who final week following the TCU sport wherein he made 12 tacklers publicly credited Stills with precisely that, drawing a lot consideration to himself that it will open gaps to the ball service for him.
Stills agrees with each assessments.
“I am positively shifting round quite a bit higher,” he stated. “I am making massive performs, like key performs. I am making an attempt to remain energetic on the market, transfer round, simply be within the backfield and trigger havoc on the market. I attempt to do my factor, the entire D-line tries to do its factor and be disruptive.”
Stills, one other of these Fairmont Senior prospects who’ve stayed at residence and helped WVU develop in each soccer and basketball, understands that judging him cannot simply be finished from the stat sheet.
Folks do not see the work that goes on within the weight room and on the apply subject, to say nothing of within the assembly room. They do not see the wide-eyed child who got here into this system and the way he used the repetitions he bought to enhance.
However in addition they do not see him on Sundays watching professional soccer, not rooting for a group however as an alternative finding out the defensive linemen and the strikes he make. While you’re watching the ball, he is watching those that are watching the ball on the sphere and what they do to cease its development down the sphere.
And when every thing comes collectively and he breaks into the backfield and is aware of he is bought to get a sack or a sort out for a loss, his juices begin flowing.
“It is most likely probably the greatest emotions, figuring out you’re about to get a sack or a TFL.” he stated after the TCU win. “It comes about by being quick off the ball, utilizing your arms, being aggressive.
I do get shocked generally when it simply opens up for you. It is like, ‘Oh, crap, now you bought to run him down and get him.’:
Stills realizes that he is reaching the top of his profession in 4 or 5 extra video games. He has one other 12 months of eligibility because of the COVID-19 season that he may use however likelihood is, contemplating he virtually left a 12 months early, that he is not going to remain for that.
“It is crossed my thoughts, however I need to wait and see what occurs this 12 months, then see what the scouts are saying,” he stated.
All he actually is aware of is that point has whizzed by him.
“It is positively going sooner than I anticipated,” Dante Stills stated. “I nonetheless keep in mind Week 1, going by way of apply. I nonetheless keep in mind my first 12 months. It is gone fast. It sucks. If you get right here you need to develop up and be an higher classman actually fast, however if you find yourself right here it is dang, it is virtually finished. I need to cherish each second.”
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