Monday, June 20, 2011

The Replacements: Kenny Guiton

Our next stop in this exercise of offseason boredom  completely necessary preview of the lucky candidates to replace Terrelle Pryor is Kenny Guiton. You may be asking: Who? Well, right.

The Basics

Here's a pretty solid preview from over at 11 Warriors (of course, this was written when Pryor was still a Buckeye and OSU was looking for a 5-game "just hand the ball off and don't screw up" guy). I'm not going to lie, I didn't know too much about this guy before this spring but he seems like an intriguing player. As a recruit coming out of Texas, the offer sheet tells the story: no offers from any of the big fish in-state. Other than the OSU offer, he boasted offers from Iowa State, Houston, Kansas State, Rice, and Prairie View A&M (yes, Prairie View A&M). I can't claim to have an extensive knowledge of Buckeye recruiting, but either: a) the OSU coaching staff saw something in Guiton that other Big 12 powers didn't or b) they just wanted to take a quarterback--any quarterback--for depth purposes. It's always wise to get a quarterback per class, and this may be what brought Guiton to Columbus. According to Jason at 11 Warriors, missing out on Tajh Boyd and a few others led to this; Guiton's commitment seems to have been an 11th hour situation.

Despite being a relatively under-the-radar, non-descript 3* prospect, Guiton might have a leg up on a guy like Joe Bauserman simply for the fact that, despite being in his 3rd year on campus, he's somewhat of an unknown entity. Unfortunately for Guiton, an above average spring game performance (11/21 for 167 yards and two touchdowns) in 2010 led to nothing more than sitting behind Bauserman on the depth chart for the year. Jason's take on Guiton's game seems to be on the extremely positive side:

With Pryor out for the first five games of 2011, Guiton has a real chance to grab the starting job in his absence. His throwing motion is smooth and he keeps the ball near his chest on the drop while using a pretty standard two-finger, across the laces grip. Perhaps what is most interesting about Guiton is he has above average athleticism but he rarely looks to run first. 

Sounds like some pretty generic praise, but he does seem to have some pretty decent athleticism to make up for his slight frame (6'2'' 190). For what it's worth, Guiton makes a pretty nice throw at 6:30 of this spring scrimmage video:

The Numbers

There's even less statistical substance on Guiton than there is on Bauserman. He played in 5 games in 2010, going 1 for 2, adding 5 rushes and a touchdown against EMU (poor Ron English). So, yeah, you could say he's a bit unproven despite having been in the program for two full seasons and a spring by now.

Spring Game Hype/Notes

As noted above, Jason thinks that Guiton has a "real chance to grab the starting job." He follows that up with:

Then, when Pryor returns, Ohio State will be in the enviable position of having a star as the starter, an experienced backup with skills in Guiton and the youth movement in the form of either Miller or Graham waiting to take over in a few years, if not sooner.
Ignoring the Pryor part, this just seems like the ideal but unrealistic scenario that we as fans all imagine will come to pass in any potentially troubling situation for our team. Guiton has some skill, but his performance in this year's spring scrimmage didn't separate him from the rest of the field, as he went only 5 for 11 with 67 yards (plus the aforementioned 17-yard TD pass to Verlon Reed). At this point, it's anybody's game, and Guiton hasn't done anything to make anybody think he will be the guy. After basically stealing the show in the 2010 spring game, he is just a guy as of right now. But, there seems to be pockets of excitement surrounding the guy which don't exactly exist for Bauserman and, to a lesser extent, Graham. If I'm getting a correct read on the situation, Guiton is the ultimate wild-card.

Pointless Prognostication

No, guy, he's not Robert Griffin. He's not Troy Smith either. I mean, he could be, but he's probably not. Despite the always reliable and/or relevant "Buckeye Bits" section in his bio, which states that he "has gained noticeable benefits from the off-season workout program," he's still looking pretty Eddie McGee wiry. The 11 Warriors preview notes a tendency to hold onto the ball too long (take that with a grain of salt...small sample size and whatnot), which could get him killed in Big Ten play. He weighs about as much as Denard and is at least two inches taller...he's not big. 

On the other hand, he has shown some flashes in the last two spring games (particularly in 2010). Although Tresel did not deign to promote him to be Pryor's understudy in 2010, a new coach means a clean slate and a new chance to snag the starting job. 

Unfortunately for Guiton, being seen at the now infamous Fine Line Ink in December is not a positive at all. While he hasn't been implicated in anything as of yet, we've slowly learned of the vast gravitational pull of the corruption at the heart of the Ohio State program, and it wouldn't surprise anyone to learn that Guiton is another participant in the parade of malfeasance. It certainly wouldn't surprise me. In any case, it's a situation to monitor going forward. 

It's hard to get a read on Guiton's place in the program going forward. He's a guy with some skill, and by many accounts a bright guy (1340 SAT, for what it's worth). Still, he has even less game experience than Bauserman, and does not seem like a guy who is built to withstand the pounding of a Big Ten slate. To make a long story short, I see Guiton being a guy who will get meaningful snaps only if these two things happen: 1) Bauserman proves himself to be completely, mind-numbingly incompetent at the beginning of the season and 2) Miller struggles at any point after #1 inevitably occurs. Getting playing time will be an uphill battle that will get even tougher if he fails to pass Bauserman on the depth chart by September 3rd. 

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