MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia football’s career leader in tackles for loss performed in Morgantown for the last time on Monday. Dante Stills, the owner of 52.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, was back on his college campus for WVU Pro Day.
Stills, who earned high marks at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, only benched and did a few on-field drills at Pro Day. The Fairmont native’s draft stock is still undetermined, though he is largely letting his performance at the combine speak for itself.
While there was one measurable number Stills wanted to improve in his last performance in front of a group of scouts, he mainly wanted to show those talent evaluators what numbers can’t fully quantify.
“I feel like that was the thing I lacked at the combine, was my bench press total. But you know, I feel like here I improved that, and definitely, I showed them I’m able to get them higher reps,” Stills said, who completed 26 bench reps Monday. “I just wanted to show them I’m able to move around, bend, and flip my hips and stuff like that.”
Stills did perform well at the NFL Combine, though he admitted there were some numbers he wanted to improve. However, he understands these workouts are only part of the equation pro teams will use to determine whether or not he is worthy of one of their draft choices next month.
“I do [have] five years of film, so I feel like I did all I can,” he said.
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Of course, Dante is the third member of his family to go through the NFL Draft process. His father Gary went through it in 1999, and his brother Darius did the same in 2021. Darius went undrafted, but has signed contracts with multiple pro football teams since.
Dante has leaned on them for advice now that it’s his turn to go through the process.
“I was gone for about two and a half months in Florida training, so I talked to [Darius] every day,” Stills said. “He’s constantly encouraging me, telling me to take care of my body, and stuff like that.”
As of Monday, Stills has future visits scheduled with the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers. Both of those teams are homes for former Mountaineers. Kyzir White recently signed a two-year deal with Arizona and Colton McKivitz was re-signed by the 49ers. Stills also stated he had dinner with a New Orleans Saints representative on Sunday, and has been in communication with other teams, like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Each NFL team can conduct official visits with up to 30 draft prospects. The NFL Draft process calls for a lot of travel, film study, interviews, and training on behalf of the player.
“I’m definitely enjoying it, but it is also stressful at times. The unknown stresses you out,” Stills said. “But overall, I’m having a great time.”
The NFL Combine is conducted over full-week for each invited player and their position group. Pro Day, on the other hand, is just a one-day affair. Stills had been in Morgantown for a few days getting ready for Monday’s audition, but said the day went by much quicker than his experience in Indianapolis.
Stills has been asked plenty of questions by prospective NFL teams, and will continue to be until his name is called on draft day. Some of the questions he has fielded have been about nightlife in Morgantown, and what he does outside of the team facility.
“A lot of questions were more about home life, my role models, just kind of my whole life story from the beginning, like 30 times,” said Stills. “I had to keep repeating it, but I enjoyed it. It wasn’t something that I was like dragging out. … It was fine, for sure.”