It’s about time we talk about Ohio State’s back-up quarterback Kenny Guiton.
Guiton was a three sport athlete out of Texas who chose to go to Ohio State in 2009. This is his fourth season with the Buckeyes; he was red-shirted as a freshman, and still has another year on the team. He hasn’t taken a lot of snaps, but got a chance to play in five games in 2010 and one game thus far in 2011. It’s his efforts this season that have made him a household name throughout Buckeye Nation.
In this year’s opener against Miami (OH), starting quarterback Braxton Miller started cramping up and it was Guiton’s turn to shine; he ran the ball for 14 yards and completed 5 of 9 pass attempts for 37 yards. It was a showing that Buckeye Nation appreciated, and the coaching staff was thankful to see.
Miller has taken a lot of hard hits this season, but with a reliable back-up in Kenny Guiton, the offense hasn’t missed a beat. In last week’s game against Michigan State, Miller’s head bounced off an equipment box on the sideline and he needed a breather; Guiton came in, kept the offense on track, and in the red zone handed the ball to Jordan Hall for a Buckeye touchdown.
Ohio State fans know first-hand that good, successful back-up quarterbacks are incredibly important to a football team. Just last season Joe Bauserman was the back-up to Miller, and it wasn’t always a favorable choice amongst Buckeye fans. During the Nebraska game last year, when Miller went out, Bauserman was thrown into the game and most Buckeye fans knew the inevitable was next.
After seeing Guiton’s talent this season, hindsight is 20/20 with whether he should have gone in over Bauserman.
He may not be the starting quarterback, but he is just as important to the team as if he were. His attitude and presence in the locker room has earned him the respect of the coaches and his teammates. That type of leadership quality is important for a quarterback; coach Urban Meyer is becoming more of a Guiton fan each and every week.
Guiton has seen a lot more action this season, and fits in nicely with the style of offense that comes with the Urban era. Coach Meyer said, “I like Kenny Guiton, so we’re going to be more… I don’t want to say reckless, but we’re going to be more aggressive because I have trust in two quarterbacks.”
Meyer even said he will now be referring to Guiton as “Coach” since he has such a great understanding of the offense.
Guiton’s reliability on the field is comforting as a Buckeye fan; I know that whenever he gets on the field, I don’t have to worry about the worst happening. When he takes his snaps, I have confidence that he will keep the offense marching down field, and do his best to put the Buckeyes in a position to succeed.
In only a short time, Buckeyes everywhere can see that Urban Meyer is going to expect the best from his players, and when he praises one its something to note. Meyer tried a two-quarterback offense in Florida in 2006, and did so successfully. It will be interesting to see if and how he brings some of those qualities to the Horseshoe.
No matter how Urban decides to play his two quarterbacks, one thing’s for sure: I feel confident in the abilities of both Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton and know that both can lead us to a winning season this year.
The only question that remains is – can they lead us to a National Championship in 2013?