Herman, Guiton Share Longtime Bond

By Kyle Rowland on October 23, 2012 at 5:00p

Four years ago, an upstart assistant coach at Rice University found himself lounging in the living room of a suburban Houston home recruiting a dual-threat quarterback for the 2009 recruiting class. 

Tom Herman first met Kenny Guiton at Rice.

The Owls were coming off a 10-3 season and the program’s first bowl victory since 1954. Offensive coordinator Tom Herman had directed a high-powered unit that ranked fifth in the nation in passing and eighth in scoring. Two receivers ended the season with more than 1,300 yards receiving and quarterback Chase Clement was named the Conference USA MVP.

But Clement graduated at season’s end, and Herman was in need for his next gunslinger.

That’s when he found Aldine Eisenhower quarterback Kenny Guiton.

“We recruited him quite heavily,” Herman said. “He’s a coach’s kid, bright kid. He was a very good leader, had a lot of talent around him. I think they had five or six kids from that Eisenhower team that signed Division 1 scholarships. But you could tell even at that time that he had a presence about him.”

Four years later, Herman was calling the plays for Guiton in Ohio Stadium for one of the most memorable games and comebacks in the Horseshoe’s 90 years of hosting college football.

“It makes you realize what a small world it is,” Herman said. “It’s a neat sidebar to the story that me and Kenny go way back.”

A backup, Guiton was thrust into the first-string role after starter Braxton Miller left Saturday’s game against Purdue with an injury. Guiton led a 61-yard, game-tying drive in the final 47 seconds of regulation. He and the Buckeyes finished off the Boilermakers in overtime to win 29-22.

Despite being a three-star recruit, Guiton was not highly coveted coming out of a big high school in the football mad state of Texas. But after Ohio State lost out on two quarterbacks in 2009 – and after Herman had left for a job at Iowa State – an offer was extended to Guiton.

“Sometimes you take chances where certain coaches see a diamond in the rough, so to speak, and he just so happens to go out and beat Purdue in overtime,” Herman said.

The Herman-Guiton storyline nearly went kaput over the winter when the quarterback fell on hard times. Head coach Urban Meyer was highly critical of Guiton’s reputation and performance on and off the field. Meyer even went as far to say that Guiton was well on his way to earning a one-way bus ticket back to Texas.

That’s when Herman figured he’d better take action. He’s known Guiton and his family since he was 17 years old and knew this wasn’t the case of a bad apple.

“If a kid’s not doing something right, you’re never in his corner,” Herman said. “But you do take the stance sometime, ‘Coach, give me a month, we’ll get this straight.’

“There’s a difference between bad kids and bad people and good people that make bad decisions. To say that I was in his corner, yeah, I believed in him. What he needed to do was not a stretch by any means for him to do it. But, at the same time, had he not done it, I would have been in Coach Meyer’s corner.”

Ever since Guiton executed his 180, he’s become a different person inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. There’s been more film study, rehearsing the offense with Miller and conversations about schemes with Herman.

The running joke around the football facility is that Guiton is also a coach. Meyer and Herman each refer to him as ‘Coach Gution.’

“I’d hire him tomorrow to be an assistant coach,” Herman said. “He’s got football in his DNA, in his blood. He’s a great teacher and a great learner.”

Still, it’s Veronica and Kenneth Sr. that Herman found himself thinking about following their son’s biggest moment on the football field.

“Unbelievably happy (for them),” Herman said, “especially with some of the conversations we had in January and February. They have a lot to be proud of, not just on the field but more so off the field.

“He’s a great kid.”

Devan Bogard is lost for the season with an ACL tear. 

Injury Report

The No. 1 issue surrounding Meyer’s Monday press conference was the health of Miller. Lost in the diagnosis of Miller – he should play Saturday – was the loss of yet another freshman special teamer.

Najee Murray was the first piranha casualty, tearing his ACL the week of the Indiana game. Then Devan Bogard crumpled to the Ohio Stadium turf Saturday, writhing in pain. It didn’t look good at the time, and Meyer confirmed on Monday that Bogard will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.

Bogard joins Murray, Craig Cataline and Armani Reeves as contributing special teamers who will miss a considerable portion of the season due to injuries.

Cataline, out since Week 2 after undergoing surgery on an injured leg, had a tackle in the season-opening win over Miami (Ohio) and rushed the RedHawks’ punter when he dropped a snap, resulting in a Bradley Roby touchdown. Murray and Bogard each have three tackles on the season. Reeves, dealing with a high ankle sprain, has one stop this season.

In preseason camp, Bogard was the first newcomer to have his black stripe removed.

“Love him,” Meyer said. “He’s one of my favorite guys on the team. Top five guy on the team, Devan Bogard.

“If we could go out and recruit a hundred Bogards, life would be pretty good around here.”

Bogard comes from a school that has been very kind to Ohio State – Cleveland Glenville. The Tarblooder program and head coach Ted Ginn Sr. have supplied the Buckeyes with talented players such as Troy Smith, Ted Ginn, Donte Whitner and current Buckeyes Christian Bryant, Cardale Jones sand Marcus Hall.

“He had one of those emotional moments after the game because he spills it,” Meyer said of Bogard. “He was getting ready to start getting a little more action as a defensive back too. You know he played linebacker in high school. So playing in space is all new for him.”

Linebacker Etienne Sabino will be out of action for the third straight game with a fractured fibula. Sabino’s backup, Joshua Perry, will be available as will wide receiver Corey Brown, who left Saturday’s game after suffering a head injury.

“He should be ready to go,” Meyer said. “They’re still evaluating, but everybody tells me he’s fine.”

If he can’t go, Chris Fields, one of the heroes in the Purdue win, will get the start.

There was no word on running back Jordan Hall, who suffered a partial tear to his PCL at Michigan State. He is listed as the co-starter on the depth chart, but that has been the case since the injury.

A jam-packed Nittanyville. Population: 1,185.

Hear the Roar

Don’t tell Penn State students that this season – and the next three – is meaningless. In the first year of a four-year bowl ban, the Nittany Lions are 5-2 overall and 3-0 in the Big Ten.

After starting the season 0-2, Penn State has won five straight and now welcomes rival Ohio State to Beaver Stadium, where anticipation is at an all-time high.
Nittanyville, the tent village outside the stadium where students live the week of big games, has a population of 1,185 students this week, more than the Franklin County village of Urbancrest.

The previous record for tents occurred when Notre Dame traveled to Penn State in 2007. One-hundred eleven temporary homes were set up outside Gate A of Beaver Stadium that week. In the first few minutes of registration this week, 130 tents were signed up. There were 142 through Monday.

“I expected a good turnout,” Nittanyville president Troy Weller told StateCollege.com. “But I didn’t expect anything like this.”

The area, formerly known as Paternoville, hosts students throughout the week. It was founded in 2005. Students sleep in tents and have “tentmates” hold down the fort while others attend classes. Because Penn State has general admission seating for students, obtaining a prime seat for the football game comes by camping out.

The party shifts to Rec Hall Friday night, where the “Rally in the Valley” takes place. The pep rally is reserved for the season’s biggest games. The football team, head coach Bill O’Brien and the Penn State band will all be present for the festivities.


Comments Show All Comments

TheHannimal's picture

Assuming Urban doesnt live for ever, I hope Herman is our next head ball coach.

btalbert25's picture

Unfortunately, I doubt Herman will be around long enough for that.

d5k's picture

I don't want to think about that yet...  But you are likely right unless he gets some huge coach-in-waiting promotion/contract at some point.  But we will keep getting and developing new big time coaches under this regime.

thorvath22's picture

How about Daryll Hazell?

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

can we please just enjoy the Urban train for a bit longer before talking about the next coach already? lol Do understand the statement though. Won't be around

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

AngryWoody's picture

I think we're all a litte pessimistic about coaches right now...The last one broke our hearts. I do agree with you though.

Our Honor Defend!

andretolstoy's picture

Guiton Ohio State HC in the next 10-15 years?

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

::points to door:: get out

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

Doc's picture

See that's funny.  It pokes fun at the absurdity of us already looking for the next head coach.  Please, please, please let us enjoy Urban Meyer now and worry about the next coach way down the line.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

btalbert25's picture

I absolutely agree.  I don't like speculating how much time he will be here or any of that.  He may or may not be around a long time but if this year is any indication, it's going to be a very enjoyable era. 

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Awesome connection between Coach Guiton and Coach Herman....small world and interesting circumstances brought them back together.

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

buckeye76BHop's picture

Love the story that I'm sure not too many knew about with Herman and Kenny G being reacquainted in Columbus.  That was good stuff and I agree with Tom's small world comment.  Good things.
I hate to say this, but it's going to be Very loud at Beaver Stadium this weekend.  I really hope that OSU silences the crowd.  I'm assuming a white out is coming our way...

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

bassplayer7770's picture

I believe you're right about the White Out. Stay safe!

Buckeye Beast's picture

I just wonder how they can maintain a white out when all the Penn State fans are throwing urine, oh well. Won't be white for long... we'll be fine

Even Squirrels hate Michigan

Rooster Buckburn's picture

A white out, or what those of us who've been to Happy Valley like to call it- a fecal storm.

kevinfrenchfry's picture

While every other American is contirbuting something to society, members of the sovereign state of Nittanyville resort to more primal practices such as hurling cups of urine and fesces at their foes as well as at their own.
--National Geographic

Tim's picture

Anyone know if we're sending our band to the game?  I can't believe how badly they've been treated in Happy Valley in the past.

sir rickithda3rd's picture

with osu's bankroll they should think about bringing their own security for the band

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

AngryWoody's picture

It would be cool to see Guiton on the sideline next year as an assistant coach.

Our Honor Defend!

bassplayer7770's picture

Next year, he will still be on the sideline as a backup QB.

AngryWoody's picture

Ohh sorry I thought he was a 5th year senior.

Our Honor Defend!

bassplayer7770's picture

According to OSU's roster, he's a fourth-year Junior.