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Michigan State

Two Dirty Plays Don’t Tell The Whole Story Of Spartans’ Gholston

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TMAPA, FL - JANUARY 02: Defensive end William Gholston #2 of the Michigan State Spartans leads the band to celebrate a 33 - 30 triple overtime victory against the Georgia Bulldogs in the Outback Bowl January 2, 2012 at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

TMAPA, FL – JANUARY 02: Defensive end William Gholston #2 of the Michigan State Spartans leads the band to celebrate a 33 – 30 triple overtime victory against the Georgia Bulldogs in the Outback Bowl January 2, 2012 at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

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Google William Gholston’s name and the first thing that appears after his Michigan Statebio page is “William Gholston Punch,” a YouTube clip that has been downloaded a quarter of a million times. The 18-second video actually includes two incidents replayed in slow-motion that occurred during the third quarter of the Spartans victory over arch-rival Michigan on Oct. 15, 2011. After one play, Gholston was caught by TV cameras diving onto the pile and twisting the helmet of Wolverines star Denard Robinson. Later in the same quarter, Gholston was flagged 15 yards for punching Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan.

Both replays probably comprise the scope of what football fans (outside of East Lansing) know about the towering defensive end. Sure, some may be aware that Gholston came to Michigan State as a five-star recruit, the most heralded the program had landed in more than a decade, or how he is projected by NFL draft analysts to go three-and-out and become a first-round pick in 2013. But his rep is rooted in these two dubious moments captured in that 18 seconds.

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