By: Barry Barnes, Founder/Senior Writer
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed their fourth-round (126th overall) pick from the 2013 NFL Draft in defensive end William Gholston Tuesday. Gholston and the Bucs agreed to a four-year deal.
Gholston, the 6-6, 281-pound defensive lineman, registered solid numbers at the Michigan State University during his collegiate career where he recorded, in 36 games, 142 tackles, 13 passes defensed, 10 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 30 tackles for loss, the 10th-most in the institution’s history.
Gholston left Michigan State after his junior year after earning second-team All-Big Ten honors for both his sophomore and junior seasons, and was a quarterfinalist for the Lombardi Award (lineman of the year).
For his size, the former Spartan is extremely versatile. Last season, Gholston, the cousin of free agent defensive end Vernon Gholston, led all FBS defensive linemen with 10 passes defensed and set a Michigan State school record for passes defensed by a defensive lineman.
Gholston’s abilities to play inside and outside of the defensive line will give him a solid chance for playing time behind defensive ends Adrian Clayburn and Da’Quan Bowers, especially with the absence of defensive end Michael Bennett who became a free agent in March.
“He’s versatile,” said Buccaneers’ general manager Mark Dominik, according to PexterReport. “Coach talked about him going inside. For a big man he plays with good knee bend, which is really important to win the leverage game, especially at his size, and he’s able to do that. I think that’s what makes him attractive, that’s part of the package that we really liked. And again we felt like he was continuing to grow this year. Although he came out, we felt like there’s a lot of potential still in the body in the young man.
“Again, he was one of the thirty guys that we brought in here, and (we) really got time to really spend with him from a coaching and from a personal standpoint,” he continued. “And we really started to appreciate everything about him, not just the tape that we saw, but what he can become we believe. So that was a big part of the selection.”
The Bucs signed running back Mike James and defensive end Steven Means Monday, while defensive tackle Akeem Spence, quarterback Mike Glennon and cornerback Johnthan Banks remain unsigned.
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