Dante Stills appeared in more games at West Virginia than any player in program history.
Along the way to making an indelible mark on the Mountaineers, Stills never lost sight of his ultimate goal — to reach the highest level and play in the NFL.
That opportunity has come about for Stills, who was chosen Saturday by the Arizona Cardinals in the sixth round of the NFL Draft.
Bringing all the energy to the desert 🌵
Welcome to the #BirdGang, @Dstills55 pic.twitter.com/WVx1REZEpT
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) April 29, 2023
Stills, a Fairmont native, was the 213th pick in the draft, and became the Mountaineers’ first player selected since Tony Fields in 2021 with five picks remaining in the sixth round.
Desert Dante 🌵
📺 2023 #NFLDraft – April 27-29 on NFLN/ESPN/ABC pic.twitter.com/UitiT7BnFA
— West Virginia Football (@WVUfootball) April 29, 2023
Stills made a major impact across five seasons as a Mountaineer. He began his career in what proved to be former head coach Dana Holgorsen’s final season in Morgantown. During that 2018 season, Stills had three sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss and a pair of forced fumbles and was named Freshman All-America by several national services.
“Congratulations to Dante and his family on getting drafted by the Cardinals,” said WVU head coach Neal Brown. “I’m really proud of all of his hard work and perseverance in pursuit of his dream of playing in the NFL. This is a well-earned opportunity that he has prepared for and has more than proven that he belongs. I look forward to watching him play on Sundays during his career and wish him the best.”
When Neal Brown came on board in 2019, Stills continued his progression and had seven sacks, 11.5 TFLs and 25 stops to earn all-Big 12 second-team honors.
Stills, a standout at Fairmont Senior High School like his older brother Darius before both went on to play at WVU, was again productive during a COVID-shortened 2020 campaign. In 10 games, he had 10.5 TFLs and a pair of sacks.
Stills earned first-team all-league honors in 2021, a season in which he had 15 TFLs and seven sacks among 36 tackles.
Stills opted for a fifth season in favor of turning pro and closed his college career in 2022 with 4.5 sacks, nine TFLs and 26 stops.
He appeared in 58 career games, 36 of which he started. Stills’ 52.5 tackles for loss are the most of any Mountaineer, while he’s fourth with 23.5 sacks.
Stills’ father, Gary Stills, is one of the more accomplished pass rushers in WVU history who went on to have a decade-long career in the NFL.