The Heir to King Kenny

By Johnny Ginter on December 20, 2013 at 2:30p
King Kenny

Traditionally, when a king dies, their oldest son or daughter takes their throne. This practice of primogeniture isn't iron-clad, but when you're got a kingdom to run and vassals to protect, sometimes it just works out better if there isn't a bloody and drawn out struggle for the throne.

Alas, Kenny Guiton has left us no children, and now it is left to us to find someone befitting the legacy of a dude who came from nowhere Texas, whose next biggest offer was from Northwestern (which he didn't really consider) or Rice (which he did), and who was added as a last minute afterthought in a loaded recruiting class that included three five-star recruits and 14 four star recruits.

All Kenny Guiton managed to do as an overlooked three star was to save the Buckeyes' bacon over and over again as a replacement for a frequently injured Braxton Miller, passing for 14 touchdowns against only two interceptions, and rushing for another 5, becoming a folk hero in the process and prompting people to legitimately ask if he should be starting over the season's initial Heisman favorite.

So the question remains: who takes up Guiton's heavy crown and scepter? It'd have to be a guy rated in the 50's nationally as a QB (as Guiton was), rated as a lowly three star (Guiton again), with a limited offer list (just like Guiton had), and with intangibles out the butt (which Guiton eventually developed). And as it turns out, we just happen to have a guy like that coming to Columbus.

No one would mistake Stephen Collier for Kenny Guiton physically. Collier is listed at six foot four, 210 pounds, and looks every bit of it. When you watch the dude on film, he's clearly more athletic than Guiton, and honestly looks more like Braxton Miller at times.

Which is unacceptable, dammit! We don't like our plucky underdogs to look like they should win, they're supposed to be bedraggled sad sacks that are either too impossibly fat to look like they can play the position, or too ridiculously thin to look like they should survive the wear and tear of football in general. Kenny Guiton has a special place in our hearts in part because he's everything physically that football quarterbacks aren't supposed be. If Collier wants to have a goofy nickname, he needs to avoid Mickey Marotti at all costs.

Heir apparentMr. Success

Collier also needs to have some kind of character flaw that we can focus in on like some kind of ravenous mob. Basically, he needs some kind of crack in his armor that can be one day mended right before our adoring eyes. Guiton, for instance, was not particularly liked by Urban Meyer when he came on the staff for perceived laziness and being a goofy dude, but has proven himself to be a capable and mature leader (especially when the game has been on the line).

So, let's see here, Collier was... personally recruited by Tom Herman. Huh. And he has a 4.2 GPA. That's, uh, pretty good. Not really underdog status. Disappointing.

Well, okay, but really the key here is that he never sees the field until he makes some magic in crunch time. Keny Guiton lept into our hearts by winning a game against Purdue in an incredibly improbable fashion in 2012, and then continued that trend in 2013 by stepping in for Braxton without missing a beat. For a backup QB to be able to do that, nevermind one that almost no one thought would make a major impact on the team, is remarkable.

So Collier just needs to ride the pine for a few years, make some noise in Spring Games, and then emerge briefly and gloriously before graduating in short order. Of course, should Braxton leave early, the more likely scenario is that he ends up in the thick of the quarterback competition, and, as an already fairly polished passer, he might just end up snagging the starting job for himself.

This isn't working out how I intended. I wanted to write a story about a guy who clearly has so much against him that he seems destined for a feel good underdog story somewhere years down the line. But hell, what if Collier turns out to be really good? What if he turns out to be really good right now?

There's always an appeal in a story like that of Kenny Guiton. Unheralded guys done good will never get old because (especially for Ohio State fans), they are our proxies for every time that we've personally been disrespected or underestimated by people in our lives. Guiton's success was the success for every kid who sat the bench or was picked last growing up, and it's just a fun story to follow.

But Stephen Collier, underestimated though he may be, might not get a chance to be our vicarious avatar of revenge. He might actually be really awesome from day one, which in the end probably wouldn't be so bad for the Buckeyes. And to at least one really smart guy, not at all unexpected.


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Jason Gruber's picture

There will never be another Smooth Jazz!!!

"You win with people." Woody Hayes

"If winning isn't everything, why do we keep score?" Vince Lombardi

"¯\_(ツ)_/¯" Joey Bosa

BamaBuckeye144's picture

Kenny G cannot be replaced. Just can't. ;)
On another note, what is our outlook at QB if BxM decides to try his hand at the NFL next year? I know the cupboards aren't bare. I just don't know who's the front runner. Is there one?


45has2's picture

As of right now, wouldn't that have to be Cardale Jones? He's the only one with game snaps.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

BamaBuckeye144's picture

I guess so too. I was wondering if he's coming along well and if anyone else is a threat for the position. I won't lie - Cardale took a step back in my mind with the stupid tweets he sent out about classes at OSU, but he is a kid and kids do stupid stuff. Watching him take snaps this year, I was most suprised by how slow he looks compared to our run of speedy QBs in Miller and Pryor. But Cardale supposedly has a rocket for an arm, so that's a plus. Is there anyone else on the radar to start? I guess he's truly third in line if Meyer had him taking snaps behind Kenny when Smooth Jazz replaced Miller.


osu07asu10's picture

If Braxton leaves it is basically a 2 man race between JT and Cardale.  Both will get an equal look during spring ball for the 1 spot.
Even if Braxton does come back, it is one of the most important position battles in spring camp still. He is going to miss game time at some point next year and the back up QB needs to be ready to go.
Regardless, spring ball will be interesting because it is going to set the pecking order at the QB spot.

CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

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UFest57's picture

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out with Cardale, JTB and Collier. Personally, i think we have seen flashes of what Cardale is but with another offseason, who knows. JTB is someone who i want to see more of before i make judgment seeing as how he has been injured. Collier will have to wait at least a year, IMO. As pumped as i am for us to slam Clemson I am even more ready for 2014 outlooks and camp to start. Too much young talent in the system not to get jacked up about!

Baroclinicity's picture

It had to have been a hard choice for Kenny back in the day.  Be a starter at a small D-2 (don't know if that is right) school or maybe not get a chance to play at a powerhouse FBS school.  I'm happy for him that he got decent quality and meaningful playing time, and was able to come through for us in the clutch and win a-la Purdue last season.
You'll be missed, Kenny!

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

osu07asu10's picture

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Sorry I can't upvote this yet (not enough stickers), but I have this same tie - it has tOSU athletic logo on the bottom... ok, I've just dated myself, but it looks so tacky now. LOL~! 

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

CptBuckeye24's picture

There's talk that Kenny Football will be back as a Graduate Assistant next year. I know he needed to improve his GPA.

Any word if Guiton will be a GA next year? If so, he will be a valuable tutor and assistant to the young QBs

3GB's picture

Kenny will try his hand at the NFL, if he doesn't make a team next season you can expect to see him on the sidelines as a GA.

osu07asu10's picture

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BuckToAsT's picture

Don't get me wrong, I love me some smooth jazz as much as the next guy, but the thought that KG could take over for Herman is a tad silly. 
I hope he does become a GA at tOSU, but he'll likely have to go elsewhere to get some actual coaching experience before we would even think about hiring him as OC.  Even Fickell had to leave tOSU after being a GA before returning with a full-time job.

osu07asu10's picture

Look at Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech. I'm not saying Kenny is going to be our OC in 2014, but if Herman sticks around (which looks likely) for 2014, I would be fine with Urban tabbing Kenny G as a Co-OC (with Warriner, please don't take the Army job!) in 2015 and QB coach. 

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Wesleyburgess1's picture

I hope its JT with Stephen as a back up..I cant stand Cardale though..his comments came off so arrogant and stupid. I cant imagine him being the face of our program.

LiveLoveARob's picture

Just imagine if people judged you and your future endeavors off of one stupid thing you said as a teenager. Chill man, I'm sure he's grown up since then.

Jonnferrell's picture


"I miss Brady Hoke."

Wesleyburgess1's picture

Wow 6 DV just for having an opinion...I don't want him as the main man because when you say something that negative about Ohio state and going to class I mean ...damn can you blame me for having some reservations? IDK maybe I am being a little harsh towards him. I just hate when these guys do bone head things that hurt our brand.

osu07asu10's picture

IDK maybe I am being a little harsh towards him

IDK maybe I am being a little harsh towards him. Fixed that for you

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MAVBuck's picture

A year ago I may have foolishly said the same thing. Cardale has since proven he's worthy of getting a fair shake though after sticking with the program and playing well when called upon. I pumped for JT but really like the assets Cardale brings as well.

Zimmy07's picture

That is awesome!


Anyone else think that this looks like Serena Williams with the hair?  I think Kenny looks better with it in some respects... We Luv You Kenny!

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

osupolo's picture

If Miller leaves then hopefully JTB can capture the starting job just to keep up the trend of red shirt freshman winning the Hiesman.

BoFuquel's picture

CARDELL will just fine. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

steveoz49's picture

What makes the entire Guiton story so awesome is the fact that I can not recall a time where a back-up QB became so loved. 
I will mist Guiton to the highest degree... but I am hoping that he sticks around and becomes a coach.  Something tells me that he's got big things in his future. 
Best of luck Mr. Guiton!!!!!!

faux_maestro's picture

1996. Joe Germaine.

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

SPreston2001's picture

2005 Troy Smith lol

txbucknut's picture

I think that with a little more coaching and refinement, Cardale could be a scary QB. I'm looking forward to seeing what he's really capable of. I know we haven't seen even close to his full potential yet. 

Poison nuts's picture

After this season is over, should Baxton decide to leave (I tend to think it's looking like he will) I see a full on 3 man battle for starting QB. In the end, I think Cardale wins, but OSU is looking good with JT & Collier. Who knows any one of them could end up starting next year - they all have the goods.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

nm_buck's picture

I got a feeling Collier will have the edge.  That 4.2 GPA says something.  His size... his athleticism... his intelligence...
This kid is a gem in the rough.... surprised he's just a 3 star.  A lot of GREAT Buckeyes were three stars.... where the coaches saw something they liked.
Looking forward to seeing them compete.

"The future is bright at Ohio State."  - Urban Meyer 1/1/15

Go1Bucks's picture

Great write and read! +1

Go Bucks!