All things considered, college football expert Phil Steele has a pretty good opinion about West Virginia University's football team in 2020.
The latest edition of “Phil Steele's College Football Preview” released this week has a few Mountaineers on his preseason All-Big 12 teams, as well as one on his preseason All-America team. That All-America honor goes to defensive lineman Darius Stills, who Steele named a third-team All-American.
Add that to the rest of the honors Stills has received this preseason. The Big 12 media named him its Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and he also has been named to the watch lists of the Bednarik and Lott IMPACT awards. Stills earned one of Steele's All-Big 12 first-team nods.
Teammate Sam James joined Stills on Steele's all-conference first team. James finished last season with 677 yards and two touchdowns on 69 catches.
Wide receiver TJ Simmons, defensive lineman Dante Stills, Darius Stills' younger brother, and defensive back Sean Mahone all made Steele's All-Big 12 second team. Offensive lineman James Gmiter and linebacker Josh Chandler both made the third team and defensive back Tykee Smith made the fourth team.
Steele ranks WVU sixth out of the Big 12's 10 teams in the preseason, mentioning that the Mountaineers will return 14 starters and two experienced quarterbacks in Austin Kendall and Jarret Doege. He also mentioned that, while not predicting double-digit wins for West Virginia this season, WVU coach Neal Brown went 4-8 in his first season at Troy before rattling off three straight seasons with at least 10 wins.