Dante Stills has grown up around the WVU football program for all of his life. The Fairmont native is just a short drive from Morgantown and his father, Gary, played for the Mountaineers.
Does that mean that he will want to continue his academic and athletic career at West Virginia? We will find out on Thursday.
Still, who plays for the Fairmont Senior Polar Bears, put out on Twitter that he will be committing to a school this week. His final three are Oklahoma, West Virginia and Florida.
Having a highly touted recruit out of the Mountain State is usually a rarity, but in recent years there has been a handful of local recruits who are being sought out by top Division I programs.
Dante is somewhat of a legacy with the WVU football team. He certainly is paving his own way, though.
Ranked by all of the top recruiting sites, Dante Stills is a four-star prospect by most accounts. On 247sports, Stills garnered a 93 ranking at the combine. Scout.com ranks Dante Stills as a top 200 recruit, the 18th best defensive tackle in the country and the top DT in the state of West Virginia.
Dante Stills received interest from nearly 50 Division I programs. He had his pick of the litter, for sure, but his final three are listed for all good reasons.
Oklahoma and Florida are college football bluebloods. Anybody with a semblance of Division I talent would want to play there. At Florida, Stills is being recruited by Ja’Juan Seider. That’s a name all WVU football fans should know.
Seider was an assistant coach with the Mountaineers since 2013. He had other stops at Marshall and several Florida high schools. When he was coaching in West Virginia, his main recruiting territory was the state of Florida.
At WVU, he was probably the best recruiting brains on staff. According to 247sports, the best recruit that Seider attracted to Morgantown was wide receiver Jovon Durante. Durante is now closer to home at FAU after recently announcing his intent to transfer out of West Virginia.
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For Dante Stills, Seider will be in a recruiting battle with Tony Gibson of the WVU football staff. Gibson is now the defensive coordinator for the Mountaineers and an ace recruiter in his own right.
He is a natural salesman and can definitely play on the in-state ties of Stills and the tradition and honor of playing for the Mountaineers.
Conversely, Seider’s pitch to Stills will be the familiarity he has with the school and the state of Florida. Heck, many senior citizens from the Mountain State and northern part of the country like to retire to the sunshine state, why wouldn’t a teenager want to move south, too?
Family is definitely on the Mountaineers’ side here, as well. Gary Stills was a feared defensive player for the WVU football team in the 1990s. He led a great defensive unit and saw some time in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Dante Stills’ older brother, Darius is now with the Mountaineers.
Darius originally committed to play football at Rutgers. Just a day after offering the verbal commitment to the Scarlet Knights, Darius had a scholarship offer from the Mountaineers. He quickly reversed his decision.
Now, the decision is up to Dante Stills. He would be a beloved player for the Mountaineers for years to come. At 6-foot-4, 265 pounds, he will certainly stand out.
If he chooses OU or UF, there better not be any backlash on social media from diehard WVU football fans. People show their worst colors when decisions don’t go in their favor.
Dante Stills is a teenager deciding his own future. No one can fault him whichever way he decides.
But he sure would fit in nicely with the old gold and blue of the Mountaineers.