August 13, 2011
Guiton hopes to emerge from forgotten role
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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Kenny Guiton probably thought after two years of playing college football at Ohio State that he would've escaped his role as the forgotten one.
Unfortunately for him, he was wrong.
He knew it would take time to get past how he got to Ohio State - a last minute addition to the team's 2009 recruiting class after the program had missed out on other quarterback prospects Tajh Boyd and Austin Boucher.
Guiton didn't have any other offers from a Division I school and was planning to attend Prairie View A&M, so when the powerhouse Buckeyes sent him an offer, it was a split decision to come play football for Ohio State.
Two years later, however, Guiton is in the midst of the biggest position battle to hit an Ohio State fall camp in quite some time.
Still, nobody is saying his name.
"I feed off of it," Guiton said. "I know that if people aren't saying your name, it's like motivation because you see that you don't have anything to lose. They're not expecting anything out of you anyway."
Six months ago Guiton probably wasn't expecting to play this season anyway with standout quarterback Terrelle Pryor still with the team preparing for his senior season.
But the unexpected departure of Pryor opened up the gates for one of the most important position battles this team has seen in decades.
Starving for success in the wake of scandal under first-year head coach Luke Fickell, whoever is chosen will have a tall order to help lead the program forward.
Joe Bauserman, a sixth-year senior, spent the first two days of fall camp taking the first snaps, the place he spent the entirety of spring football.
But the fan favorite is freshman Braxton Miller, a highly-touted dual-threat recruit who arguably sports the most athleticism of any of the quarterbacks vying for the spot.
Or there's the redshirt freshman Taylor Graham, who has shown perhaps the strongest arm out of the group, not too mention he's the son of former Ohio State quarterback Kent Graham.
Once again, Guiton has found himself forgotten in the shuffle of three other eligible candidates.
"It motivates me every day," Guiton said. "I try not to think about it, but as you know, it's always in the back of your head. I was the last recruit to come in. I got recruited two weeks before singing day.
"I think people probably didn't expect me to be in this situation. Now I just have to prove myself and prove that I can do the things to be a starter."
Perhaps people will begin to remember Guiton a little better if he continues to put practices together like the one he had on Thursday morning.
The most impressive quarterback out of the four Thursday, Guiton was continually on the mark while showing elusiveness in the pocket.
It would be hard for the coaches not to consider Guiton as a viable option if he can practice at that level consistently, as he's spent just as much time playing in front of 106,000 fans in Ohio Stadium as Bauserman.
After redshirting his true freshman season, Guiton made five appearances a year ago. Though he completed only 1-of-2 passing attempts - the incompletion being an interception - he showed explosiveness with his legs in a 15-yard touchdown run late in Ohio State's blowout win over Eastern Michigan.
His most impressive display was his performance in his first spring game, tossing a game winning touchdown to former wide receiver Taurian Washington in the final minute of the contest.
"He's got great leadership and great communication," quarterbacks coach Nick Siciliano noted. "And he's shown he's a tough kid."
Guiton knows he may be the long shot to win the job, but there's still a shot.
Now he has three weeks to prove underdogs can win.
"I can bring many things to the table, and that's what I'll try to show everyone all camp," Guiton said. "I am a dual-threat. I think I can do many things and bring all that to the table."
Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for BuckeyeGrove.com. He can be reached at Ari@BuckeyeGrove.com.
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