Guiton Takes Humble Approach
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Kenny Guiton isn’t supposed to win the job. Technically, he isn’t even supposed to be here.
Just a skinny kid from the small Texas town of Aldine outside of Houston, Guiton doesn’t have the appearance of a starting quarterback at Ohio State. He didn’t arrive in a blaze of glory with high school accolades and prep store lore.
Photo by Jim Davidson
In fact, the word ‘arrive’ doesn’t accurately describe Guiton’s journey to Columbus. He sort of just showed up one day after the Buckeyes made a last minute offer in their attempt to land a quarterback in the class of 2009.
He was so obscure that his only real Division I offers were from Kansas and Iowa State, but both schools backed off when they landed other quarterback options. Had Ohio State not stumbled upon his film and flown down to Texas to get a better look at the Eisenhower quarterback, he might be lining up for Prairie View A&M this fall.
“I try not to think about that,” said Guiton, who is now entering his third season at Ohio State.
“It always comes up but I’m thinking ahead and I have a shot to play so that’s what I came here for.”
When he got to Columbus in 2009, Guiton became fast friends with Terrelle Pryor, another mobile quarterback who took the wide-eyed youngster under his wing. They maintained a friendship over the years, but his unceremonious departure was a bittersweet moment.
“I’m real good friends with Terrelle, so I called him and wished him the best, but at the same time I was happy knowing that I have a shot to play this year,” Guiton said.
A shot. That’s all Guiton and his three competitors are asking for. Each one will have a chance to show what he can do this fall, but only one will come away victorious. That hasn’t stopped the redshirt sophomore from working with his two younger counterparts—Taylor Graham and Braxton Miller—to get them ready for the season.
“I try not to think about it,” he said of the competition.
“We’re all together, we’re all on the same team, we’re all brothers, so I just let it go. It’s fun for me. Competition is always fun so we’ll see what happens.”
That is Guiton’s style. It’s not always flashy, but it’s hard not to pull for the kid. His arm strength is not in the same category as the other three, but he knows there is a lot more than arm strength to playing quarterback in Ohio State’s system.
“Accuracy is a big thing being a quarterback here,” he said.
“You have to be accurate and make smart decisions, so I’ve tried to get in the film room and do the things I have to do to get better.”
The coaches don’t have to remind him what those things are; Guiton has been working on his weaknesses ever since the door opened for one of the backups to move into the starting lineup.
“Just always throwing,” he added.
“Throwing all the time with my receivers, getting my timing down, throwing into nets. Doing different things, as many drills as you can.”
Guiton said that over the summer he would grab a few of his receivers to work on his throwing and his timing at least two or three times a week to get ready for the fall.
“I did that all the time,” he said.
“I tried to get as many receivers in as many times as I could and just work on timing and let them see what kind of things I have and let them tell me what they think about me.”
There probably aren’t a lot of people who think much of Guiton, given his background. He wasn’t a 5-star prospect or an Army All-American. He wasn’t highly recruited and he has never played in a big game at the college level, but he has been on the same field with guys who have.
Back in high school, Guiton faced off against a pair of Heisman Trophy candidates in Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Oregon’s Darron Thomas.
“Knowing that I’ve played on the same level as them has motivated me to do similar things,” he said.
He may not win the job, but just being in the mix means Guiton has beaten the odds.
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