Gholston Giving His All

After sitting out last season due to an injury, defensive end Vernon Gholston seems set to become a major contributor. Gholston recently discussed his status as well as his thoughts on college football so far.

In high school, Vernon Gholston was that one guy.

He was that guy with the chiseled arms and a protruding chest. He was the one his teammates would linger around the bench press, just to watch him do his reps.

You've all seen them. Every school has one. Some are just more prominent than others.

But now that Gholston, a 6-4 defensive end from Detroit Cass Tech, is in the third year at Ohio State, he's not so different.

Once considered a freak of nature with the physique and strength relatively unparalleled for high school kids, Gholston is adjusting to not being the big man on campus.

"The speed here is so much different," he says. "Everyone here moves fast."

That's not to say the 260-pounder doesn't move quickly or enjoy a physical advantage in strength. It's just not quite as pronounced.

The rap on Gholston from his days at Cass Tech wasn't the motor, but keeping the motor running so to speak.

As practice starts for his sophomore season and third year in the program, he'll be the first to admit it's time for him to take his game to another level before he's left behind.

"In high school you were able to take off plays or use half your energy or ability and still make a play," he readily admits, "but here you have to go all the way to be able to make a play or get anything done.

"You can't let off," Gholston adds.

When Gholston arrived at Ohio State his freshman year, he wasn't sure quite what to expect.

Last year, as a sophomore, it appeared he had cracked the two-deep and was in line for a fair amount of playing time, injuries slowed him and prohibited his chances of earning a starting spot.

This year, Gholston says he is healthy and figures to be competing with Lawrence Wilson for a possible starting spot.

"My freshman year I came in and was on the defense a little bit but last year I got hurt and didn't get to play a lot," he said, "but this year I'm looking to get out there quite a bit."

Gholston had three tackles and a sack in the annual Spring Game this past April. Last season, Gholston was limited to appearing in just two games – making one single tackle.

He wants to make the most of his opportunities this season.

One of the reasons he went to Ohio State, he says, is to make a difference.

"The biggest thing coming out of high school is going to a genuine program where I can become all that I can be," Gholston added. "Ohio State has allowed me to do that."

Even at Ohio State, Gholston is hoping to be that guy.

"This is my dream come true," he said. "I've been working hard in the off-season trying to help our defense and basically it's paying off right now."

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