High School: Eisenhower SHS; Aldine, TX
His Commitment: On January 30th, 2009, the name “Kenny Guiton” curiously appeared in some Buckeye blogs and Ohio State recruiting websites. Within a minute or so of his name appearing, there was confirmation that he was going to sign with Ohio State on National Letter of Intent Day. Well how about that. As far as Buckeye fans knew, that was it for his recruitment. His commitment was his recruitment.
Ohio State was hellbent on signing a quarterback in the 2009 recruiting class since, with the defections of Rob Schoenhoft and Antonio Henton after Terrelle Pryor signed with Ohio State, they were going to have only one scholarship-caliber QB backing up Terrelle Pryor (Joe Bauserman). However, they were turned down by US Army All-American Bowl MVP Tajh Boyd, who committed to Clemson on January 16th. To make matters worse, they were rejected by Austin Boucher and Chris Coyer in succession. These two opted to stick with their respective MAC commitments with Miami of Ohio and Temple (respectively). The last one, I thought, was particularly embarrassing since I struggle to think of reasons why Temple should be A) playing football at the 1A level and B) playing football altogether. If a kid would rather venture to Philadelphia to toil in the ultimate college football obscurity than come to Columbus, you’d have to wonder that this just wasn’t the year for a QB. I kind of expected the coaching staff to admit defeat, let a walk-on QB run the third team, and pray for the best in 2009.
The coaching staff, on the other hand, wasn’t going to take no for answer. Ohio State recruiting coordinator John Peterson came across his name as a quarterback still left on the board, flew down to Texas to talk with his head coach and bring back copies of his transcripts and game film. Guiton was not on campus when Peterson came down, at least not initially. A friend of his called him, saying that a coach from Ohio State was looking for him. Since Kenny did not have a high-profile recruitment, he naturally thought that his friend was trying to yank his chain and hung up on him. When Kenny’s dad called him, saying that a coach from Ohio State was looking for him, he dropped everything he was doing and high-tailed it to his coach’s office to meet with Peterson. Peterson said he’d be in touch. Later that night, Guiton was notified he had a scholarship offer. He knew Ohio State was where he wanted be and said he’d commit.
Ohio State finally had their quarterback in the 2009 class.
His Recruitment: I think we have to work backwards with Guiton. After all, if he’s good enough to be offered a scholarship by Ohio State, then why was his next best offer from Wyoming? How could the 3-year starter quarterback of a very good program in the Houston area, whose wide receivers are en route to Oklahoma (Jaz Reynolds), Texas (Greg Timmons) and LSU (Craig Loston, as the nation’s #1 safety) in the same class, be considering possibly signing with Praire View A&M? Hell, someone of importance must be getting those wide receivers the ball.
Well, it wasn’t always the fact that Guiton was thought to be an iffy D-1A prospect. At least, that’s not what this trusted expert on BuckeyePlanet said.
This kid has great foot speed and a big-time arm. At the beginning of the recruiting year all of the major Big 12 schools were all over him and their fan bases expected him to be a major target. He was invited to all of the junior days and shown the “love”.
After sizing him up in comparison to some of the other QB’s many schools went for the more physically gifted guys instead. Guiton actually looks like a regular 17 year old high school kid, and these coaches are always enamored with the big framed guys for whatever reason.
This left Guiton basically out in the cold with the schools that he was interested in early on and his talent level does not honestly translate to a school like Houston (Sorry coach Sumlin).
So while he may not pass the “eyeball test” that a lot of folks like to use to evlaute and judge talent, he does pass the football test and ultimately that is what he will be judged for at OSU.
Sure enough, if you look through the Scout.com updates on Guiton early into 2008, you’ll see updates that suggest he would be all over the Big 12 recruiting map. Several Big 12 schools, including Oklahoma, were sending him signals of interest in mid-February. Kansas stepped forward with an offer, his very first. A week later, Houston offered. Kansas looked to be an early favorite. Iowa State, Rice and Northwestern all eventually offered him. Missouri, Purdue and Kentucky were thought to be on the verge of offering. Rather than rush to a decision, Guiton opted to take a relaxed approach to recruiting. From here, I’m not sure what better characterizes what happened during the summer and fall. When Guiton said he would consider his college choices “all in due time”, he also mentioned that he surprisingly has not heard from any of those schools in a couple weeks. Meanwhile, the schools recruiting him early eventually found quarterbacks more to their liking. Eventually, all those scholarship offers that Guiton had were no longer valid.
“He went to Kansas in the summer and they offered him,” Evans said. “He had offers from Iowa State, Rice, Houston and Purdue. He decided to wait, and when he did those offers weren’t there anymore.
It’s the kinda ugly business side of college football recruiting, but it left Guiton in a bit of a bind. Instead of choosing among the likes of Kansas, Rice and the Nerds, he was having to choose between Wyoming and Prairie View A&M. The weekend that he eventually visted Ohio State was supposed to be the weekend he visited Wyoming. He had already made an official visit to Prairie View A&M. Fortunately, John Peterson came into the picture and the Buckeyes offered him later that night. As Kenny said, it was kind of easy to choose between visiting Wyoming or taking the official to Ohio State. He knew as soon as he got the offer that he wanted to go to Ohio State. He committed on the spot in Columbus.
Where He Excels: Everything I’ve read about Guiton treats him as your standard dual-threat QB from the high school level, with strengths and weaknesses cut from the same cloth as others before him.
At 6’3, he’s definitely a long strider and can cover some serious ground pretty quickly. Originally listed as having a 40 speed around 4.9, he more accurately runs about a 4.6. “Speed” just isn’t the straight line. Rather, he demonstrates an overall mobility in the pocket (and patience) and on the go. Already in camp, he’s demonstrated a very good comprehension of how the option works.
I’m curious about what Pryor said about him during fall camp. Specifically, Pryor thinks Guiton is ahead of where he was as an incoming freshman in terms of the passing game. That’s not saying much, because Pryor has also admitted that he needed a lot of work as a passer coming in, and still does. Still, it does corroborate what I’ve read about Guiton elsewhere, that he’s not just another running back at the quarterback position.watch his signing day ceremony at the high school, where he took part with other athletes at the HS (not just football) who signed their letters of intent. Listen to him talk (starting around 2:28 into the clip). Look at the smile on his face (on your right). That’s a kid who’s genuinely excited about the opportunity. That’s not a kid who has consigned himself to being the third option in the eleventh hour; that’s a kid with a golden ticket.
Must Work On: Again, this is all standard fare for a dual-threat QB. Guiton has good arm strength, but it’s not elite arm strength. More than a few of his passes during fall camp practice have been characterized as wobblers. He needs to demonstrate what his footwork and progressions will look like under center. He’s already taking too many long strides on a 5-step drop. The last time Guiton did that was as a sophomore in high school, when he was QBing a triple-option offense under center. He’s already been described as having trouble making the right reads in practice and, as recently as Saturday, likely took a step back in his development with a rough outing. Unlike some other dual-threat QBs, Guiton actually has a fairly quick release. The problem? It’s inconsistent and looks awkward. It’s a lot to ask for a high school quarterback to come in and look like a finished product, so these early struggles were expected.
I think the only thing that I’ve read about Kenny that’s rather new for the evaluation of your typical dual-threat QB is his frame. Kenny’s a very lean kid and will certainly want to add as much good weight as he can.
Though this probably isn’t the appropriate section for saying this, it’ll be interesting to see what becomes of Guiton’s career at Ohio State. Quarterbacks have strange odysseys from beginning to end. Not all of them are happy. In fact, it seems very few of them are. Quarterbacks don’t get to be used in a rotation like wide receivers, tailbacks, indeed, just about every other position on the field. If you’re not starting, you’re basically not playing. Optimistic fans are already likening this signing of a “throwaway” QB to the serendipitous career of Troy Smith. However, Troy Smith’s ascent to greatness at Ohio State pushed a very highly-ranked Justin Zwick to the footnotes of the program’s history. Terrelle Pryor, as much as we’re enjoying him, was an implict factor leading to the transfers of Rob Schoenhoft and Antonio Henton. Fans were excited about the prospects of both Schoenhoft and Henton when they committed. If you want, I can also remind you of Austin Moherman. So what does this have to do with Kenny? Well, Pryor is only a sophomore. Another quarterback is coming in the 2010 class and will bring several superlatives with him to Columbus. In 2011, the Buckeyes will likely (hopefully) secure Braxton Miller, who will have been a 4-year starter at Wayne HS. So then, how do we predict Guiton’s career at Ohio State? I guess we shall see.
Redshirt? Pray that Kenny Guiton redshirts. If he doesn’t, it means something bad happened to Terrelle Pryor.
Highlights: This is the best I can do. This is from Tressel’s signing day press conference. Guiton is on deck after Reid Fragel Rock.
- Guiton was a three sport athlete at Eisenhower. He ran hurdles and was also the point guard for the basketball team.
- When Kenny was still uncommitted in late January, he had a few people convinced that he’d be an absolute steal in anyone’s class.
- He’s wearing #13 at Ohio State. Yep, that #13.
- Kenny is an uncle to two kids by way of his older sister approximately 10 years his senior.
- Guiton had a disappointing senior season. As a junior, he had 2,592 yards through the air, another 329 yards on the ground and 29 total touchdowns. He was the offensive MVP of the district. As a senior, he had 1846 yards passing, 140 yards rushing and 21 total TDs to 7 interceptions.
- His senior season ended with an unfortunate 62-21 loss to Cinco Ranch in a second round playoff game.
- He was an honor roll student at Eisenhower and graduate with a 3.3 GPA.
- When he committed, people called him “Kenny Guiton”. Now, people usually refer to his first name as “Ken”. Unless I get yelled at by a player’s parent again on the issue, I think I want to keep calling him Kenny. If he’s ever sacked during a game, it’ll at least allow me to make light of the situation by saying “Oh my God, they killed Kenny”. Those bastards.
Well, I think that’s all I have. I think Kenny Guiton is now better known.
And, one last time, the board.
|Class of 2009|
|Name||Position||Hometown||Better Known?||Name||Position||Hometown||Better Known?|
|CJ Barnett||DB||Clayton, OH||02.20||Marcus Hall||OL||Glenville, OH||08.19|
|Dorian Bell||LB||Monroeville, PA||04.10||Adam Homan||FB||Coldwater, OH||01.29|
|Adam Bellamy||DT||Aurora, OH||05.26||Carlos Hyde||RB||Naples, FL||06.29|
|Jaamal Berry||RB||Miami, FL||08.12||James Jackson||WR||Grand Ledge, TSUN||03.05|
|Zach Boren||FB||Pickerington, OH||01.22||Storm Klein||LB||Nerk, Ahia||02.02|
|Corey Brown||WR/DB||Monroeville, PA||07.13||Corey Linsley||OL||Youngstown, OH||05.11|
|Duron Carter||WR||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||06.03||Sam Longo||OL||Bellbrook, OH||08.03|
|Dominic Clarke||DB||Frederick MD||02.11||Jack Mewhort||OL||Toledo, OH||02.05|
|Melvin Fellows’ Safari Planet||DE||Garfield Heights, OH||04.24||Jonathan Newsome||LB/DE||Glenville, OH||07.22|
|Chris Fields||WR||Painesville, OH||04.02||John Simon||DE||Youngstown, OH||03.26|
|Reid Fragel||TE||Grosse Pointe, TSUN||05.18||Jordan Whiting||LB||Louisville, KY||03.12|
|Kenny Guiton||QB||Aldine, TX||08.24||Jamie Wood||DB||Pickerington, OH||02.26|
|Jordan Hall||ATH||Jeannette, PA||04.20||Class of 2009: Better Known|