4-Star DT Prospect Dante Stills Commits to West Virginia over Florida, Others

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 24, 2017

Photo Credit: Scout.com

West Virginia picked up a key commitment for its 2018 recruiting class from coveted defensive lineman Dante Stills. 

Per Chris Anderson of 247 Sports, Stills announced his decision to play for West Virginia on Thursday. 

Anderson noted Stills has close ties to the Mountaineers. His father, Gary Stills, played for the program and recorded 26 sacks in his college career before being a third-round NFL draft pick in 1999. His brother, Darius Stills, is a defensive tackle entering his freshman season at West Virginia. 

Stills is a 4-star prospect who rates as the No. 191 overall player in the 2018 class, according to the Scout.com rankings. He's also listed as the No. 8 defensive tackle in the group and the top player at the position from the state of West Virginia.

While the Fairmont High School star projects as a tackle, he's also capable of playing defensive end in a 3-4 or hybrid scheme. His combination of length and small-area quickness makes him a nightmare to deal with at the line of scrimmage when he's able to get leverage.

Mark Wheeler‏ of Inside The Gators showcased that talent in action:

Even though Stills' size and athleticism make him a prototypical top prospect, he was surprised by his high recruiting rankings, which jumped during the offseason before his senior year of high school.

"I didn't really think I would be this high in the rankings," he told Ryan Green of Gridiron Now in June. "I knew I was going to work for it, and it's truly a blessing because not a lot of guys get to experience the recruiting process."

He's not the most physically imposing lineman, which must change if he's going to stick at tackle for the long haul, and his technique remains inconsistent. Those are both areas that tend to improve once prospects come to understand raw physical skill is no longer enough at the collegiate level, though.

All told, Stills is the type of prospect who can go a long way to round out the 2018 class for Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineers, especially since he's an in-state recruit. His floor is a versatile member of the defensive line rotation, but his steady rise suggests he'll become a lot more in the coming years.

The lineman probably won't make an immediate impact for West Virginia as he fills out his frame and works on some technique adjustments. That said, he should be ready to crack the rotation by year two, and all signs point toward him becoming a key starter soon after that.

Stills' commitment is a huge boost for West Virginia in next year's recruiting class. He had powerhouse programs like Florida and Oklahoma in the mix before choosing the Mountaineers. 

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