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William Gholston, DE

School: Michigan State  |  Conference: BIG10
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Detroit, MI
Height/Weight: 6-6 / 281 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.932.751.7423 28 1/29'2"4.597.20
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
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Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: At 6-7 and 280-pounds, he has the size, length and physical skills to maul blockers coupled with the athleticism to play in space and beat linemen with quickness.

WEAKNESSES: Plays too stiff and needs to develop a better array of pass rush moves, too often relying on his natural tools and not technique. Lackluster first two seasons was followed by a solid, but not outstanding, junior season, failing to quell some questions about his work ethic and motor.


--Dane Brugler

Player Overview

Blue chip high school recruits out of the state of Michigan usually end up in Ann Arbor or another big-time program like USC (Nick Perry) or Alabama (Mark Ingram). But the much-heralded Gholston, a five-star recruit who had offers from just about every program in the nation, landed in East Lansing and slowly but surely came into his own as one of the top defensive linemen in the Big Ten.

He spent his true freshman season as a backup defensive end/linebacker, but a shoulder injury ended his season prematurely. Gholston returned as a starting sophomore defensive end in 2011 and set several career-bests with 70 tackles, 16.0 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks and one forced fumble, earning Second Team All-Big Ten honors.

However, his 2011 season wasn't without some controversy, as Gholston was suspended for Michigan State's last second Hail Mary win over Wisconsin because of a few dirty plays against rival Michigan a week earlier (punching left tackle Tyler Lewan and twisting quarterback Denard Robinson's helmet). With the full support of the coaching staff and zero off-field incidents, it would be unfair to label Gholston as a bad character prospect, but his football focus and on-field demeanor is a question mark that the NFL won't ignore.

Scouts also can't ignore the solid numbers Gholston put up in 2012: 59 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss to go along with 10 passes defensed and a forced fumble. His decision to leave school a year early may have been prompted by the recent birth of his first child.

If Gholston's name is familiar in NFL circles, it's because his cousin is former Ohio State star Vernon Gholston, who was a bust as a first-round pick by the Jets and is currently out of the league.

Similar to Jerel Worthy in 2011, Gholston isn't the "elite" defensive lineman that some believe, but he does have pass rush ability and has yet to reach his ceiling.

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Latest News
03/17/2013 - 2013 Michigan State Pro Day: The scout said Gholston's individual interviews with the various teams who show interest in him will be very important, as teams try to gauge what his work ethic will be at the professional level. "He's a kid that had a tough upbring, and he grew a lot here in college,'' the scout said. "But the psychological aspect is the toughest thing to gauge; you never know how a lot of money, women and that lifestyle is going to affect a guy. He's going to have to learn to work hard all the time.''

The other issue Gholston had to rectify was his 40-yard dash time. The scout said Gholston clocked a 5-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, that that hurt his stock. Gholston took care of that with a 40-yard dash clocked in the 4.8 range on Wednesday. - Mike Griffith, Michigan Live

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