Gholston, Vernon

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Vernon Gholston, the Jets first round bust of the 2008 NFL Draft
Vernon Gholston was a defensive end for the New York Jets from 2008 til 2011. Gholston is widely regarded as one of the biggest draft busts in Jets history.


Background and college

Born June 5, 1986 in Detroit, Michigan, Gholston attended Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan and was a student and a letterman in football where he played for head coach Thomas Wilcher. As a student, Gholston had a 2.8 GPA. In football, as a senior, Gholston was an All-State honoree as an offensive guard while racking up 75 tackles and six sacks on defense. Gholston, whose father was deceased, was mentored by Wilcher. Gholston's mother's name is Cheryl Gholston.

Gholston did not play football at Cass until his sophomore year and did not play on defense (at linebacker) until his senior year. He was originally interested in bodybuilding and working out, buying fitness magazines and working out in his basement before he was a teenager.

On November 3, 2007, Gholston tied two Ohio State team records for quarterback sacks in a game when he dropped Wisconsin QB Tyler Donovan four times for a total loss of 32 yards. Two weeks later he recorded three sacks against the Michigan Wolverines to lead Ohio State to its fourth consecutive win over the Wolverines. During the 2007 season Gholston recorded 37 tackles - 15 1/2 for a loss - and set a school record with 14 sacks in 13 games, breaking the former record of 13 sacks in a single season set in 1995 by Mike Vrabel. He tied the highest bench press score at the NFL combine with 37 repetitions at 225 pounds (102 kg/16.1 st). Gholston was one of two people to record a quarterback sack against two-time consensus All-American Jake Long in Long's NCAA career.

NFL Career

As a Jet

Gholston was taken by the Jets with the 6th overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft. He was expected to play outside linebacker in the Jets' 3-4 defense with the Jets citing his speed, strength and “long limbs,” believing they had found the perfect outside pass rusher for their defense Gholston agreed to terms on a 5-year deal with the Jets on July 24, 2008.

However, Gholston did not play much his rookie season after being expected to start. He saw time mainly on special teams, totalling 13 tackles, 5 solo. In his second year, Gholston was mostly a minor contributor under new coach Rex Ryan's defense. During the 2009 season, he tallied 17 tackles (12 solo and 2 tackles for loss). Following the 2009 season, Gholston converted from outside linebacker to his more-familiar defensive end position.

Gholston was released by the Jets on March 2, 2011 after three seasons with the team — a time in which he recorded no sacks (while, according to ESPN, over 600 other players recorded at least one). Rumors persist that in one game, he managed to get within ten feet of Tom Brady.

After the Jets

Gholston was signed by the Chicago Bears in August 2011, but was released a month later. The following year, he signed for the St. Louis Rams, but only lasted 9 days and one preseason game. He's been out of the NFL since.

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