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Darius Stills wins Hardman Award

ills was close to voiding his amateur status a year ago, following a strong junior season that had NFL scouts taking notice.

Instead, he decided to return to WVU for one more year, and in the process, claimed several All-America honors–West Virginia University’s first Consensus All-American since 2006–and kept professional teams more than interested.

Stills manned the center of the Mountaineers’ defensive line at nose tackle, helping WVU finish the 2020 campaign with a top 5 defense nationally.

For his efforts, Stills was named the 2020-21 recipient of the Hardman Award, as voted by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.

The Hardman Award, given to the state’s top amateur athlete, is named for the late A. L. (Shorty) Hardman, who served as sports editor (1936-60) and executive sports editor (1960-78) of the Charleston Gazette. The award is the oldest given by the Association and dates back to 1934. A complete list of honorees may be found on the wvsswa.org website.

Stills will be recognized at the 74th annual Victory Awards Dinner on May 23 at the Embassy Suites in Charleston.

He is the first WVU football player to win the award since Tavon Austin claimed it in 2012.

“It’s an honor to win this award, especially being from West Virginia,” Stills said. “It means a lot to me tobe able to represent West Virginia in the right way. Now, it’s time to represent West Virginia at the next level.”

Stills, a native of Fairmont and 2017 graduate of Fairmont Senior, was a two-year starter for the Mountaineers. This season, he finished with 7 1/2 tackles for loss, 3 1/2 sacks and an interception. For his career, Stills had 84 tackles. 25 1/2 tackles for loss and 11 1/2 sacks.

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