Vernon Gholston

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Vernon Gholston
No. 50
Position: Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1986-06-05) June 5, 1986 (age 30)
Place of birth: Detroit, Michigan
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 260 lb (118 kg)
Career information
High school: Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
College: Ohio State
NFL Draft: 2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles: 42
Sacks: 0.0
Forced Fumbles: 0
Player stats at

Vernon Gholston (born June 5, 1986) is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Ohio State and was drafted sixth overall by the New York Jets in the 2008 NFL Draft. In three seasons with the Jets, he started just five games, and never recorded a sack. He is considered to be one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history.[1][2] He was also a member of the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams.

Early years[edit]

As a senior at Cass Technical High School, Gholston emerged as one of the top prospects in the Midwest after registering 75 tackles, including six sacks, as a linebacker and also earning an All-State selection as an offensive guard.

College career[edit]

Gholston attended Ohio State University, redshirting in 2005 after suffering a broken left hand in the season opener. In his freshman season he played defensive end, though recruited as a linebacker. He eventually moved up to the number 2 spot behind Mike Kudla.

In 2006 he earned Second-team All-Big Ten honors from both the league's coaches and the media while starting 13 games. Gholston had 49 tackles and his 18 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, which led the team, included 7.5 quarterback sacks, ranked second on the team. He also intercepted his first pass in the win over Bowling Green.

On November 3, 2007, Gholston tied two Ohio State team records for quarterback sacks in a game when he dropped Wisconsin quarterback 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 (15.5 for a loss) and set a school record with 14.5 sacks in 13 games, breaking the former record of 13 sacks in a single season set in 1995 by Mike Vrabel.[3] He was named All-America by Pro Football Weekly and was First-team All-Big Ten.

During his tenure at Ohio State, Gholston started 25 games. He finished with 87 tackles (47 solo) and 30.5 stops for a loss. He also had 21.5 sacks, which ranks fifth in school history.

Awards and honors[edit]



  • 2007 Big Ten Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year (coaches)
  • 2007 All-Big Ten Conference First-Team (coaches and media)
  • 2006 All-Big Ten Conference Second-Team (coaches and media)

Professional career[edit]

2008 NFL Draft[edit]

Gholston declared for the 2008 NFL Draft and was projected as a top 10 pick. He tied the highest bench press score at the NFL combine with 37 repetitions at 225 pounds (102 kg; 16.1 st).[4] Gholston was one of two players to record a quarterback sack against two-time consensus All-American and 2008 NFL Draft number one overall selection Jake Long in Long's NCAA career.[4] Gholston was invited to attend the 2008 NFL Draft in New York. He drew comparisons to Kalimba Edwards.[5]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 3 in 266 lb 4.58 s 1.53 s 2.63 s 4.41 s 7.12 s 41 in 10 ft 5 in 37 reps 21
40-yard dash (and splits) and vertical from Ohio State Pro Day on March 7, 2008. All others from NFL Combine[6]

New York Jets[edit]

Gholston was drafted by the New York Jets sixth overall in the 2008 NFL Draft.[9] 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.[7][10] 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.[11]

Gholston was released by New York 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). He has widely been considered one of the biggest busts in the history of the draft.[12][13][14]

Chicago Bears[edit]

Gholston was signed to a contract by the Chicago Bears on July 29, 2011.[15] The Bears waived Gholston on August 29, 2011.[16]

St. Louis Rams[edit]

The St. Louis Rams signed Gholston on August 22, 2012.[17] The Rams waived Gholston on August 31, 2012.[18]

Washington Redskins[edit]

After two seasons out of the NFL, on February 17, 2015 Gholston tweeted "Got a tryout with the Redskins #HTTR." [19]

NFL stats[edit]

Year Team Games Combined Tackles Tackles Assisted Tackles Sacks Forced Fumbles Fumble Recoveries Fumble Return Yards Interceptions Interception Return Yards Yards per Interception Return Longest Interception Return Interceptions Returned for Touchdown Passes Defended
2008 NYJ 15 13 5 8 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2009 NYJ 14 17 12 5 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2010 NYJ 16 12 7 5 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career 45 42 24 18 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0



His cousin, William, is a defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[21]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Draft bust Vernon Gholston believes that Rex Ryan never gave him a chance". 
  3. ^ "Defensive notes". Ohio State University Athletic Department. Retrieved November 18, 2007. 
  4. ^ a b Cabot, Mary Kay (February 25, 2008). "Buckeyes DE Vernon Gholston turns heads at Combine". Archived from the original on May 3, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  5. ^ "Pro Football War Room: Vernon Gholston Profile". Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  6. ^ Dagger (February 29, 2008). "2008 NFL Combine Results GHolston". NFL Fanhouse. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  7. ^ a b Bishop, Greg (April 27, 2008). "Jets Pick Two From the Big Ten, and One's a Big Surprise". New York Times. 
  8. ^ NFL Draft
  9. ^ Allen, Eric (April 26, 2008). "Gholston a Jet". Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  10. ^[dead link]
  11. ^ Vrentas, Jenny (August 23, 2010). "Jets' DE Vernon Gholston has already been tested by opponents, coaches – and he's passing". Retrieved August 23, 2010. 
  12. ^ Cimini, Rich (March 2, 2011). "Jets cut Vernon Gholston, Ben Hartsock". ESPN New York. Archived from the original on March 6, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2011. 
  13. ^ Smith, Michael David (March 1, 2011). "Vernon Gholston an unprecedented NFL draft bust". ESPN New York. Retrieved September 18, 2014. 
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ McClure, Vaughn (July 29, 2011). "Bears to sign former No. 6 pick Gholston". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on July 30, 2011. Retrieved July 29, 2011. 
  16. ^ Associated Press (August 30, 2011). "Bears RB Taylor not cut – still with team for now". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  17. ^ Wagoner, Nick (August 22, 2012). "Rams Finish Camp on Fun Note, Gholston Signed". St. Louis Rams. Archived from the original on August 23, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2012. 
  18. ^ Associated Press (August 31, 2012). "Source: Rams cut Vernon Gholston". ESPN. Archived from the original on August 31, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  19. ^ Shook, Nick. "Vernon Gholston tweets he has tryout with Redskins". Retrieved February 17, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Vernon Gholston Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  21. ^ "Player Bio William Gholston". Michigan State Football official site. 

External links[edit]