August 14, 2009

Guiton turning heads

COLUMBUS - Ohio State freshman quarterback Kenny Guiton rifled a few pretty passes while the Buckeyes warmed up for their second fall camp practice earlier in the week.

In what was quite the surprise, Guiton caught the attention of several media members early on, particularly because nobody was quite sure how well the freshman could throw.

Later in the practice, Guiton raised even more eyebrows with some precision passing in Ohio State's hurry-up offense scrimmage to close the practice, throwing on the money passes to an array of different receivers running various routes.

The thought was simple but consistent: Maybe this kid is better than we had previously thought?

"Right now everything is going pretty good, but I still have a lot to work on with my throwing mechanics and footwork," said Guiton, a three-star dual-threat quarterback out of Aldine (Texas) Eisenhower. "I came in throwing alright, but I have been working a whole lot with the coaches and I am already getting better with my arm, my form, and my footwork."

Given the way Guiton was recruited at the end of 2009, many wrote him off as more of an afterthought. Guiton was the last player recruited an signed and the Buckeyes didn't offer him a scholarship until a week before signing day.

Automatically labeled as a desperation move, Guiton's ability has already been sold short. But when the observations were made about his throwing motion at fall practice in the beginning of the week, thoughts seemingly began to change.

Is it possible Guiton could be that diamond in the rough?

"When I first came in I was really nervous about fitting in and I didn't know if was going to fit with everyone because I was the last recruit to sign and commit," Guiton said. "But once I got up here man, they took me in like I was a member of their family. I felt welcomed like I was committed since my junior year or something. When I got up here I felt comfortable, so I was able to focus on my game and just be a member of the team like everyone else."

Someone that has virtually the opposite experience in terms of time recruited is current Ohio State starter Terrelle Pryor, who was arguably one of the most highly-touted football recruits in recent memory.

Pryor's past wouldn't be on that could coincide with the way Guiton was recruited and brought in, but Pryor has already noticed Guiton's natural ability and has taken him under his wing.

"He throws better than (I did at first) when he first came in," Pryor said. "He can throw the ball pretty good… I have been teaching him a lot of stuff. I took him under my wing as a brother and trying to teach him the best that I can."

Guiton was offered a scholarship late in the process after Ohio State lost out on quarterback recruit Tajh Boyd, who chose to go to Clemson shortly before the Buckeyes interest picked up in Guiton.

Regardless of the circumstances, Guiton felt Ohio State was the best opportunity for him and a week was enough for him to make perhaps the biggest decision in his short life.

"Like the week before signing day I was sick and I was out of school and my friend called me and told me Oho State was there to see me. I hung up the phone in his face because I thought he was joking," Guiton said. "Then my dad called me and told me to get to the school, so once I got there I talked to them and I didn't think they were going to offer because I had been talking to a ton of schools who just wanted to talk.

"Next day they called and offered and I talked to coach (Jim Tressel) and ever since then I have been here," Guiton said. "I went for a visit that weekend and I signed at Ohio State. It just took one week. I knew it was the top of the top program, so I was blown away by them."

Especially because Pryor is at the helm of the team at the moment, Guiton will certainly fly under the radar.

But thus far, it's Guiton's early ability that has been blowing people away.

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