Michigan State went 3-for-3 with its juniors considering a jump to the NFL draft. All three men have decided to skip their senior seasons and turn pro.
Gholston, a defensive end, will join Bell and Sims in the 2013 NFL draft. He made things official Saturday with a letter to Michigan State fans which reads in part: "In the days since our Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl victory, I have decided to forgo my senior year at Michigan State and declare for the 2013 NFL Draft. While I know I still have a great deal to accomplish, I am very excited about the challenges that the future holds and I promise to always represent the University with class, dignity, and professionalism. From Coach [Mark] Dantonio, to our entire staff, to my incredible teammates, to each of you unbelievable fans that back us each and every day, I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart."
The 6-7, 285-pound Gholston will try to impress NFL talent evaluators with his physical freakishness and next-level potential after a somewhat disappointing 2012 season. Gholston recorded 59 tackles, including 13 for loss and 4.5 sacks, and added 10 pass breakups, five quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and a safety. A decent season for sure, and Gholston earned second-team All-Big Ten honors from the media, but he didn't match the lofty expectations placed on him after his dominating performance against Georgia in the 2012 Outback Bowl.
He'll need a good predraft performance to help his stock, but he certainly has the physical tools to do so.
His departure shouldn't hurt Michigan State as much as Bell's or Sims', as the Spartans boast much more depth on the defensive side of the ball. MSU has an experienced defensive end in Marcus Rush and other options like Denzel Drone and Shilique Calhoun.