Guiton Upbeat in Pursuit of NFL

By Kyle Rowland on March 17, 2014 at 3:00p

For Kenny Guiton, the past five years have been about getting an opportunity.

First, he wanted to play for major college football. That came to fruition in remarkable fashion, with Ohio State scrambling for a quarterback weeks before signing day in 2009. But he came to Columbus with little chance of playing, located behind Terrelle Pryor and then Braxton Miller on the depth chart.

Everything changed on Oct. 20, 2012 against Purdue.

Guiton took control of the offense while Miller rode in the back of an ambulance. Everything about the moment looked bleak. Ohio State’s undefeated season was on the brink, its star quarterback appeared to suffer a serious injury and the backup tossed an ill-advised interception.

But it all turned around in the final minute of regulation. Down eight, 61 yards away and with just 47 seconds left, Guiton engineered a seven-play drive that will live in Buckeye lore. Ohio State won in overtime, jumpstarting the legend of Kenny Guiton.

It would only continue to grow when he won three consecutive games in 2013, setting numerous school records in the process. Guiton’s final numbers for his senior season read: 75 for 109, 749 yards passing, 14 touchdown passes, two interceptions, 330 yards rushing, five touchdowns.

Now, with the NFL Draft looming in May, college football’s most famous backup quarterback just wants the same thing he coveted five years ago: a chance to play.

“I’m just looking for a shot,” he said after Ohio State’s Pro Day. “I don’t mind where I’m picked up at – free agency, late rounds – it doesn't matter. I just want the shot.”

It’s the road less traveled, but not the road never traveled. Joe Montana and Tom Brady, arguably the two greatest quarterbacks ever, were selected 82nd and 199th, respectively, in the draft. Matt Cassel will never be grouped with the all-time greats at his position. But like Guiton, he spent the entirety of his college career as a backup – to Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at USC – before becoming a starter in the NFL.  

In 2008, Cassel relieved Brady, who tore his ACL in the season opener, and led the Patriots to an 11-5 record. Cassel started his first game since high school that season.

Guiton has a private workout scheduled with the Patriots March 26. It’s not all that surprising when you ponder the friendship between Bill Belichick and Urban Meyer. Still, it serves as an opportunity for Guiton to wow Belichick, Josh McDaniels and the rest of the Patriots’ brass.

“They know quarterbacks,” Guiton said. “I look at guys like Brady – he’s one of the biggest idols I have right now because he was a guy who wasn’t big going in[to the draft] and hard work took him to the top. That’s the one thing I want to do.”

A year ago, Guiton’s mindset was completely different. He entered his senior season discouraged, believing his football career was in the twilight stage. Then Miller’s injury and Guiton’s subsequent rise to stardom put the graduate assistant plans on hold.

“Things change,” said Guiton, who doesn’t even have 1,000 career passing yards.

The name Kenny Guiton is known throughout the football landscape, but his film is lacking. The three opponents he faced last season – San Diego State, Cal and Florida A&M – weren’t world beaters, and his Purdue performance was essentially limited to one series.

There are hints of the “it” factor, his leadership is undeniable and Guiton’s mechanics have improved dramatically since he arrived at Ohio State as a lanky freshman. But visions of a dramatic professional transformation remain farfetched. Don’t tell that to Guiton, though. He remains “very confident.”

“I think an NFL team should draft me because I'm a great leader,” he said. “I’ll come in with some leadership, a positive mindset, and I'm going to learn. I’m going to come out every day with a great mentality – outgoing, joking around. I’m going to compete with whoever is the starter, whoever is the backup. I’m going to compete. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

“One day when my number’s called, whether it’s sooner, whether it’s later, I do want to be that next Matt Cassel or that next Tom Brady – the guy that can step in and never look back.”


Comments Show All Comments

osu07asu10's picture

(**Tries to take off Scarlet glasses to no avail**) Let me get this out of the way first, I love Kenny Guiton and am biased as to what he can do in the NFL.

To me, what I saw in his 3 game audition was a guy who made great strides from the snap of game 1 to the end of game 3. I don't want to say Kenny's ceiling is "high" but his potential is unrealized right now. Does he have the prototypical size, mechanics, and arm strength? No. Did he take the prototypical path to NFL stardom? No.  

I just think he is a guy who has a lot to offer teams with his intangibles alone. I also think there are probably 10 NFL QBs with less talent than Guiton (hell, the brownies had 2 in Weeden and Campbell).  I think this article is pretty spot on, just give the guy a chance.


CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

+12 HS
alust2013's picture

Haha, that is my favorite gif. But seriously, while he may not turn into Tom Brady, I think he could at least make a name for himself in some capacity.

...and Michigan still sucks.

+3 HS
45has2's picture

Two thumbs up, one for the post's content and one for the GIF.

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

MN Buckeye's picture

Guiton showed his decision-making ability in the 1.9 seconds right after the snap.

+1 HS
FloridaBuck's picture

Kid was always smiling, was a great competitor, and a total class act. Kenny G is an excellent representative of our great university and will always be one of my favorite players. 

+1 HS
BroJim's picture

How can you not Love Guiton? I hope he can come back and coach someday.

I season my simple food with hunger

+5 HS
Phoenix824's picture

Amen to all of the above.   I love Kenny G and hope he can make himself a career in the NFL

+3 HS
mb5599's picture

Some team would be smart to give Kenny G a shot.  Look at the pathetic backups that many NFL teams have now.  The same sorry backups keep getting rotated between teams.  Why would you not take a chance on someone like Kenny G, pay him the league minimum and see what he could do?  Instead these teams will continue to pay millions to scrub backups year after year, who fail miserably when they get into the game. Come on Cleveland/Cinncinati, what do you have to lose?????

Big B

+5 HS
Pa_snoborder's picture

The only backup I know where you kinda felt relieved when he came into the game...

One shall stand, One shall fall. -Optimus Prime

+5 HS
CowCat's picture

He could easily be a backup in NE, WAS, SF or SEA, given his ability to run Urban's offense.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

Buckeyefan774's picture

If anyone lives near the Dayton area, Kenny G and Jordan Hall will be signing at Cardboard Heroes in the Dayton Mall on March 23rd from like 12-2. I know I will be there to get some smooth jazz!

Brandon Marshall

+1 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

I've been a Kenny G fan since his first spring game. It's a shame he never got a chance in 2011. 

+1 HS
TraptnMI's picture

I had a man crush on him as well in that spring game. Kens a gifted athlete. He had the most potential and it is still untapped.

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

+1 HS
Go1Bucks's picture

Goddamn Browns should offer him now.

Go Bucks!

45has2's picture

Why do you hate Kenny G.? I wouldn't wish Cleveland on a weasel QB, Elvis.

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

TraptnMI's picture

I think  Kenny could beat out Dalton and start the 2015 season.

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

+2 HS
mrspray's picture

I'm still a little ticked that the game he took over against Purdue was completely blacked out where I live… I do hope that he at least gets a chance somewhere.

In case you're curious, it's Mr. Spray

+1 HS
hit_the_couch's picture

The man didn't get enough play time; much better arm than Miller.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

+1 HS
tracyre's picture

This kid is a flat out winner no matter where he ends up or what he's doing.  

I was never a big smooth jazz fan.  Kenny changed that. 

+2 HS
German Buckeye's picture

I would not be unhappy if either the Bengals or Browns took Kenny.  Most likely though he'll go in a unrestricted free agent and latch on with someone.  Have the Pats run him thru the paces is a good thing - other teams will notice.

-1 HS
CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Greatest backup in America!  Kenny's got skills and can make it in the NFL.  I can see him getting picked up by someone.  There are a lot of teams that could use a player like Kenny in the mix.  He's proven that if the starter goes down he's a guy you can depend on!

Go Bucks!!