When the backup quarterback of a football team, especially a team as high-profile as the Ohio State Buckeyes, is elected captain, it should resonate with even the common fan.
With his recent play, most notably the way he led the Buckeye offense to a season-high 608 total yards in its 52-34 win over California, one could begin to understand a little better why redshirt-senior quarterback Kenny Guiton earned the honor of captain.
But, to me, it’s so much more than that.
Not only is he talented enough to fill in for junior starting quarterback Braxton Miller without flinching, allowing the offense to essentially run the same as if Miller were healthy, Guiton’s personality and leadership skills make him truly one of a kind.
Growing up and playing sports myself, there were always a few teammates of mine who seemed to want more attention or were upset if they were not getting the playing time they felt they deserved. Every team can suffer from this problem, but in the case of the Buckeyes’ backup quarterback, it feels like the direct opposite.
Guiton never seems to want to give himself any of the accolades that come with his success. He always talks up his teammates and how it is all about the team. Such modesty is few and far between in sports.
Miller has called him his “big brother.” Co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said Guiton “is the best in the business at what he does.” Coach Urban Meyer calls him “the old right-hander,” and admited it will be a tough call to sit down the player who has visible control of the huddle and the utmost confidence of everyone around him. On a grander scale, chants of “Kenny G” ring throughout Ohio Stadium whenever he gets his chance under center.
Guiton often tells the media it is his job to lead the team like he knows how, doing his duties as the captain he is. Knowing and embodying his role in the way he does — keeping things simple, recognizing how blessed he is and truly loving being at OSU — makes him someone who we all could learn from.
He is in no way perfect, but it is nice to know players on the OSU roster are looking up to someone like Guiton.
Upon leaving the team media room late Saturday night after the game against Cal, Guiton was standing next to OSU’s locker room door, scrolling through his iPhone before hopping on a bus to head to the airport.
Walking past him on my way out of the stadium, I offered him a “Good game, Kenny,” and in classic “Kenny G” form, he looked up instantly to shake my hand and said, “Thank you. Y’all have safe travels back.”
Typical Kenny. Always putting others before himself.