William Gholston
refer to caption
Gholston in 2021
No. 92 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1991-07-31) July 31, 1991 (age 31)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Height:6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight:281 lb (127 kg)
Career information
High school:Detroit (MI) Southeastern
College:Michigan State (2010–2012)
NFL Draft:2013 / Round: 4 / Pick: 126
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2022
Total tackles:401
Forced fumbles:3
Fumble recoveries:3
Pass deflections:12
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

William Gholston (born July 31, 1991) is an American football defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Michigan State, and was drafted by the Buccaneers in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.[1]

Early life and education

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Gholston attended Mumford High School in Detroit, where he was a USA Today High School All-American in 2008. For his senior year, he transferred to Southeastern High School.[2] He recorded a career-best 115 tackles as a senior, with 44 resulting in losses including 7 sacks, and also forced 10 fumbles and blocked two punts.

Considered a five-star recruit by Rivals.com, he was rated as the third best strong side defensive end in the nation.[3] He accepted a scholarship from Michigan State University over offers from Michigan and Ohio State.

College career

Gholston enrolled in Michigan State University, and played for the Michigan State Spartans football team from 2010 to 2012.[4] As a freshman in 2010, he saw action in the first 10 games of the 2010 season before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury against Minnesota. He recorded 13 tackles and five quarterback hurries. In 2011, he became a full-time starter for the Spartans. He led the Spartan defensive linemen with 70 tackles and finished tied for seventh in the Big Ten with 16.0 tackles for loss (50 yards); that total also ranks tied for seventh in MSU single-season history, and he also was tied for 11th in the Big Ten with 5.0 sacks (30 yards). He tied a Spartan-bowl record with 5.0 tackles for loss (16 yards), including a career-best 2.0 sacks (10 yards), in the 33–30 triple overtime win against No. 18 Georgia in the 2012 Outback Bowl, and garnered all-conference second team honours. As a junior in 2012, he led the Spartan defensive linemen and ranked fourth on the team with 59 tackles. He also led the team and ranked eighth in the Big Ten with 13.0 tackles for loss (49 yards), and led the team with 4.5 sacks (24 yards).

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 6+14 in
(1.99 m)
281 lb
(127 kg)
34 in
(0.86 m)
10+38 in
(0.26 m)
4.96 s 1.75 s 2.89 s 4.59 s 7.20 s 28.5 in
(0.72 m)
9 ft 2 in
(2.79 m)
23 reps
All values from NFL Combine[5][6]

On January 3, 2013, Gholston announced he would forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft.[7] On April 27, 2013, William Gholston was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth round with the 126th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.[8] The Buccaneers previously acquired the pick used to select Gholston from the New England Patriots in a trade that sent Aqib Talib to New England. Gholston signed his contract on May 14, 2013, and his four-year deal is worth $2,560,544; it included a $400,544 signing bonus.

He finished his rookie season in 2013 as a rotational player earning 30 combined tackles (14 solo) and two quarterback sacks.[9]

In 2014, he became the team's starter at left end for the defensive line when an injury to Adrian Clayborn put Clayborn on the IR list ending his season. He eventually lost the starting job to waiver wire pick up Jacquies Smith and was relegated to rotational duties for the remainder of the 2014 season. He finished the year with 41 combined tackles (27 solo) and two quarterback sacks.[10]

Gholston played in all 16 games while starting 11 in 2015. He amassed 67 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble from his defensive end position.[11] In 2016, he recorded 49 tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble.[12]

Gholston with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021.
Gholston with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021.

On March 6, 2017, Gholston signed a five-year contract extension with the Buccaneers.[13][14]

Gholston was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the team on November 4, 2020,[15] and activated three days later.[16] Gholston played in all four games in the Buccaneers' playoff run that resulted in the team winning Super Bowl LV.[17][18]

On March 24, 2022, Gholston re-signed with the Buccaneers.[19]

Personal life

He is a cousin of former Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Vernon Gholston.[20]

Just prior to the start of the 2021 NFL season, Gholston started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has used the martial art to help prepare for the season.[21]


  1. ^ "William Gholston, DE, Michigan State, NFL Draft - CBSSports.com - NFLDraftScout.com". CBSSports.com. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  2. ^ "Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins to see former high school teammate, Michigan State's William Gholston, when Buckeyes play Spartans on Saturday". cleveland.com. September 28, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  3. ^ "William Gholston – Yahoo! Sports". Rivals.yahoo.com. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  4. ^ "William Gholston College Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  5. ^ "William Gholston Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
  6. ^ "William Gholston, Michigan State, DE, 2013 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". draftscout.com. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
  7. ^ Mulholland, Mike (January 3, 2013). "Report: William Gholston becomes third Michigan State player to declare for NFL draft". MLive.com. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  8. ^ "2013 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  9. ^ "William Gholston 2013 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  10. ^ "William Gholston 2014 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  11. ^ "William Gholston 2015 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  12. ^ "William Gholston 2016 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  13. ^ Smith, Scott (March 6, 2017). "Will Gholston Gets Five-Year Deal". Buccaneers.com.
  14. ^ Patra, Kevin (March 6, 2017). "William Gholston agrees to five-year Bucs extension". NFL.com. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  15. ^ Smith, Scott (November 4, 2020). "Buccaneers Place DL Will Gholston on Reserve/COVID-19 List". Buccaneers.com. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  16. ^ Easterling, Luke (November 7, 2020). "Bucs activate DL William Gholston from Reserve/COVID-19 list". USAToday.com. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  17. ^ Patra, Kevin (February 7, 2017). "What we learned from Buccaneers win over Chiefs in Super Bowl LV". NFL.com. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  18. ^ "Super Bowl LV – Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Kansas City Chiefs – February 7th, 2021". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  19. ^ Smith, Scott (March 24, 2022). "Will Gholston Signs On for 10th Season in Tampa". Buccaneers.com.
  20. ^ "William Gholston Bio – Michigan State Official Athletic Site". Msuspartans.com. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  21. ^ "NFL Lineman Will Gholston Says BJJ is 'Harder Than Football Practice'". December 4, 2021.