Morgantown, West Virginia – The dreams of many kids unfortunately do not come true. Some children dream of becoming a professional athlete, a doctor, a veterinarian, the President of the United States, but aspirations and ambitions are often replaced by reality and fade away.
Darius and Dante, the Stills brothers, who grew up just 20 miles South in Fairmont, West Virginia, wanted to play for the West Virginia Mountaineers. Through grade school, junior high and high school, Darius and Dante resolutely worked towards their goal of becoming great Mountaineers.
When Darius Stills flirted with the idea of turning professional and playing in the National Football League following his junior season last year, he decided to stay in Morgantown for another year, saying, “These past three years having the opportunity to live out my childhood dreams of playing football and being able to showcase my talents for West Virginia University holds a special place in my heart.”
Darius Stills turned down an opportunity to make millions of dollars to play another season with his brother Dante and for his hometown team, the West Virginia Mountaineers. Make no mistake about it, there was more to it than simply wanting to play for the Mountaineers. Darius had something to prove.
Remember, Darius Stills was not heavily recruited out of high school and he initially committed to Rutgers after then-Head Coach Dana Holgorsen showed him little attention. In fact, Darius was considered only as a way to land the more highly-regarded Stills brother, Dante.
West Virginia play-by-play announcer Tony Caridi recently told Oklahoma State’s Pokes Report, “This will stun you and it does me anytime you talk about Darius Stills, but the thought was that WVU only offered Darius to get Dante. That staff is no longer here, but there were people on staff then that said, ‘we don’t think he can play here at this level. He probably should stay home and play at Fairmont State.'”
This of course led Darius Stills to come to West Virginia University with a huge chip on his shoulder and a real desire to prove all of his naysayers wrong…and boy has he ever!
Darius Stills was the Big 12 Conference’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year following his junior year where he had 47 tackles, 28 unassisted tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and 7 sacks.
This season, the Stills brothers lead the best, most dominant overall defense in the country right now, allowing its opponents a mere 240.3 yards per game through 4 games. In short, the Stills brothers’ dreams have come true. They have had remarkable careers at West Virginia University, their dream school, and have led the Mountaineers to the best defense in the country.
The only thing left for Darius and Dante to accomplish is a Big 12 Championship, and that is certainly not out of the question this season. With this accomplished, Darius and Dante Stills will eventually leave Morgantown as two of the most important players in the history of West Virginia football – not just for their accomplishments on the field but also because they were elite recruits who could have played anywhere but stayed home to play for the Mountaineers.
Following their outstanding careers at West Virginia University, the Stills brothers will no doubt go on to play professionally in the National Football League, but it all started with big dreams from two local kids who have gone to achieve everything they hoped for and more.