West Virginia defensive coordinator Tony Gibson doesn’t have much a choice as to what to do with freshman defensive lineman Darius Stills — he’s going to play.
The Mountaineers planned to redshirt the 6-foot-4, 278-pound lineman from Fairmont (W. Va.) Senior High School. Those plans changed, however, against TCU on Saturday.
“He is going to play, he is going to be in the rotation,” Gibson said during West Virginia’s media session on Tuesday. “We busted his redshirt so he has to play now.”
Gibson was asked if his decision to play Stills was a result of what he was doing or what others were lacking. West Virginia’s associate head coach said it was a combination of both.
“I thought he was ready at the beginning of the year and we got into some games and didn’t use him so we were going to hold off and see if we could make it,” Gibson said, “but right now we need to use him because he is active. If anything, he can give us some good depth to be able to rest some of these other guys.”
West Virginia’s defense needs the jolt, and it appears the Mountaineers are fine turning to multiple freshmen at this point in the season.
Freshman Lamonte McDougle made his first start against the Horned Frogs on Saturday. Gibson thought the rookie defensive lineman played well and handled himself fine against one of the best centers in the conference.
The Mountaineers still have plenty of quality offensive lines left to play, and getting their freshmen reps will be key in the coming weeks if the Mountaineers want to push for a spot in the Big 12 title game.
The Mountaineers (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) will try to recover from their 31-24 loss to TCU with a home game against Texas Tech at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 14. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
The post West Virginia hoping freshman DL Darius Stills can provide depth appeared first on Diehards.
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