Another day, another member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2013 draft class under contract, and now that process is halfway complete.
On Tuesday, the Buccaneers announced the signing of William Gholston, the Michigan State defensive end drafted in the fourth round last month. Like all draft picks under the new collective bargaining agreement, Gholston got a four-year deal to begin his NFL career.
Tuesday's announcement followed the Monday news that sixth-round running back Mike James and fifth-round defensive end Steven Means had signed on the dotted line. That's three deals done, three to go for the current draft class, with only second-round cornerback Johnthan Banks, third-round quarterback Mike Glennon and fourth-round defensive tackle Akeem Spence still unsigned.
As with James and Means before him, Gholston has put the business end of his NFL entry behind him and can now focus on competing for a job in the Buccaneers' lineup. Tampa Bay's coaching staff believes the 6-7, 278-pound lineman can be a productive member of their rotation at defensive end, helping to improve a pass-rush that ranked near the bottom of the NFL's sack chart in 2012.
As a Spartan, Gholston racked up 142 tackles, 10 sacks, 30 tackles for loss, 13 passes defensed and two forced fumbles over the course of three seasons and 36 games. The Detroit native was a second-team All-Big Ten pick by both the coaches and the media in 2011.