Thaddeus Gibson: Will He Be as Effective as Vernon Gholston?

Kyle StrittholtCorrespondent IApril 29, 2009

In the 2008 NFL Draft, only one Buckeye was taken in the first round—Vernon Gholston.

Gholston was a rare talent, able to play both defensive end and the flats as well.

In the 25 games he started with the Buckeyes, Gholston had 87 tackles (47 solo), with 30.5 stops for loss and 22.5 sacks, which ranked him fifth in school history.

The No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft, offensive tackle Jake Long, said Gholston was the hardest defender he had to block when he was at Michigan. Gholston was the only player to get a sack while being blocked by Long—he had three in one game.

In the NFL Combine, he tied Long for most repetitions on the bench press, putting up 225 pounds 37 times.

Gholston was drafted sixth overall by the New York Jets, but only had 13 tackles in his rookie season. The people call him a bust, but he was a beast in college.

It’s been a year since Gholston left Ohio State, and the Buckeyes have finally found another young athlete to take his place on the line—Thaddeus Gibson.

Originally a linebacker, the coaches figured Gibson's talents would be better used to take over at Gholston’s position.

Gibson hasn’t reached his max potential and still has some learning to do, but I think he will be a play-maker for this young Buckeye defense. The defensive line is already ranked high this spring and is the most experienced part of the Buckeyes defense.

I look for Gibson to have a breakout year, and to be the cause of some big disruptions for opposing teams.

When you watch film of the Ohio State-Michigan game last season, Gibson was getting to the quarterback, forcing early throws and knocking him on his back.

If he plays with the same intensity he had then, he could become one of the special players in Buckeyes history.

Gibson had a pretty solid performance in the spring game on Saturday, sacking quarterback Terrelle Pryor twice early on, a very good sign for Ohio State's defensive line.

Getting to the quarterback and stopping the run will be a key for the Buckeyes success early on.