Mark A. Cunningham
Gholston joins Dion Sims and Le'Veon Bell as juniors who are forgoing their senior seasons.
Of the three, Gholston seemed to be the one most likely to return. The talent and skill was always there, but the performances were inconsistent. However, as I've said with the other two, when you're projected to go in the first half of the draft, it's certainly hard to turn down the money. Gholston recently had a kid, which also could have played into his decision. It's very possible he's the highest-drafted of the three juniors.
Congrats to Gholston, who came to MSU as the first five-star recruit in school history (since they started giving out stars). He certainly was the biggest recruit in the Dantonio era, and since he's leaving early and will get drafted, it will be hard to call his career a disappointment, though maybe it wasn't as heralded as some expected.
Unlike the previous two departures, this one won't be hard to replace. Shilique Calhoun will slide into that starting spot. He just finished up his redshirt freshman season and has been heralded as being the best pure pass rusher the coaching staff has ever had. He doesn't have the experience yet, but the ability is there.
MSU had six guys drafted last year and will have at least four more this year (juniors plus Johnny Adams) in Dantonio's first couple of recruiting classes. That certainly will be a selling point to recruits.
I'll probably do a post later on the bigger picture of things. I know people think the sky is falling, but these last two years should show you just how much talent has been stockpiled over the years, especially on defense.