MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Darius Stills doesn’t have any resentment toward it anymore, but he realizes he’s lived in the shadow of little brother Dante for a long time.
Dante had to pick between major Power 5 offers — such as Oklahoma, Florida and Penn State — before deciding to stay home at West Virginia, and those offers began to roll in when he was a 16-year-old at Fairmont Senior.
Darius, on the other hand, had a more difficult time getting looks at the Power 5 level, and because of that, made a quick decision he ended up regretting during the recruitment process.
In July 2016, Darius committed to Rutgers after waiting and waiting for a West Virginia offer that didn’t seem like it was coming. As someone who always wanted to go to WVU, he wanted to wait as long as he could, but with a Power 5 offer now in the fold with the Scarlet Knights, Stills pulled the trigger during a camp in Piscataway, N.J.
That was until he returned to Fairmont and got a call from then-WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson.
“Coach Gibson gave me a call and was like, ‘So you didn’t want to come here?’ ” Stills said. “I told them that yeah, I always have, and then they offered me.
“I’m like, ‘You’re really going to do this to me right now?’ So I had to turn around and tell Rutgers that I was committing to WVU.”
That sequence over three years ago represents the chip on Stills’ shoulder. It took until the summer prior to his senior year for WVU to extend an offer, while little brother Dante received his offer from the Mountaineers as a
“You offered my brother in front of my face and you didn’t offer me,” Stills remembers from a camp at WVU.
Dante appeared to have the physical build that Darius lacked, so the attention was consistently on the younger sibling while a shadow was cast over Darius. While annoying at first, Darius used that motivation to prove he isn’t playing second fiddle.
“Instead of getting all sad about it and everything, I’ve just put a chip on my shoulder and try to prove everybody wrong,” he said. “I think I’ve improved everywhere. I’m kind of tired of people believing I can’t do what other people can because of where I’m from or whatever.”
Now, with his college career halfway finished, Darius is one of the most experienced defensive linemen on the team. He slid out from under Dante’s shadow and both will be asked to be prominent players in the trenches for the Mountaineers.
“He’s one of the fastest D-linemen on our team, strongest D-linemen on our team and most athletic,” Dante said of his big brother. “I cannot see him not on the field. I know how hard he’s going to go. He’s been overlooked his whole life for no reason and I feel like he has something to prove, and he will prove it.”