The West Virginia University football team earned just one spot on the Big 12 media’s preseason all-conference team — but it was a really big spot.
On top of being named to the preseason all-conference team, WVU senior defensive lineman Darius Stills was named the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. The team was selected by Big 12 media members.
Stills is the first Mountaineer to earn a preseason player of the year nod since quarterback Will Grier was named the 2018 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. He is the first WVU defensive player to earn a preseason player of the year selection since the Mountaineers joined the Big 12 for the 2012 season.
The Fairmont native and son of former Mountaineer defensive great Gary Stills ended last season in nearly the same place he starts this one. He earned All-Big 12 first-team honors at the end of 2019 after a campaign where he earned a team-best 14½ tackles for loss and tied younger brother Dante Stills for the team lead with seven sacks.
Stills also was named to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given annually to college football’s best defensive player.
Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard, the 2019 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, earned 2020 preseason offensive player of the year honors. Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler — the probable starter for the Sooners after Heisman runner-up Jalen Hurts went to the Philadelphia Eagles — was named Preseason Newcomer of the Year.
Oklahoma and Texas led the list with five preseason All-Big 12 picks each. Oklahoma State had four, while Iowa State, Kansas State and Texas Tech each had three. Kansas and TCU each had two and WVU and Baylor each had one.
The Big 12 media preseason poll is scheduled to be released at 3 p.m. Friday.