August 12, 2010

Guiton coming for backup QB spot

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State reserve quarterback Kenny Guiton strolled slowly off the field at the Horseshoe after tossing a game-winning touchdown to Taurian Washington in the annual spring game in April.

At that very moment Guiton went from a last-second throw-in as part of the 2009 recruiting class to the trendy pick to take the backup quarterback spot from Joe Bauserman.

"It boosted my confidence so high," Guiton said of the spring game performance. "I am getting a lot of supporters and it is really motivating me to work harder."

While Bauserman seemed to be the only viable option for the Buckeyes had something happened to starter Terrelle Pryor last year, Guiton took a redshirt season to further develop his game.

Guiton showed from the beginning that he was a gifted passer and the improvement over the course of the first year was put on display for the Buckeye fans this spring when he went 11-for-21 passing for 167 yards and two touchdowns.

For the most part, Guiton looked comfortable in the pocket and seemed to be finding his receivers on a consistent, accurate basis.

Meanwhile, Bauserman struggled, completing only 6-of-15 pass attempts for 75 yards and two interceptions.

Guiton may have been slowly gaining on Bauserman, but in what seemed like one afternoon, the redshirt freshman went from being an afterthought to the next possible option for the Buckeyes if Pryor is unavailable.

"My mindset really hasn't changed too much," Guiton said. "Coaches told us last year that if anyone here was planning on redshirting that you might as well leave because they need everyone on the team.

"So last year I was fighting for the spot and I wanted to prove to the coaches I could be the second string quarterback," he continued. "This year is the same thing and now I am finally getting the chance to compete for it so I am just working hard and doing my best to get it."

But Bauserman, a 24-year-old veteran, isn't going to let his job be snatched that easily.

While running with the second team offense in Tuesday's practice, Bauserman had perhaps the best day passing he has had in a while.

Bauserman caught fire and showed a great display of arm strength in accuracy on two consecutive plays in which he threw perfectly thrown passes to Chris Fields and Grant Schwartz for touchdowns, respectively.

In his junior season Bauserman isn't going to ever be the starting quarterback assuming Pryor stays healthy and enrolled at Ohio State for four years, but he is still fighting to be the first quarterback off the bench of the Buckeyes need him.

"It is competition every day. We are all competing," Bauserman said. "I have no control over anything but myself."

The Buckeyes welcomed a new face into the mix this fall in freshman Taylor Graham, the son of former Ohio State quarterback Kent Graham.

Taylor Graham has shown flashes of some good things thus far in fall camp but has also shown some inconsistent decision-making, which is commonly displayed in younger signal callers attempting to learn the system.

The race for the No. 2 quarterback is presumably between Bauserman and Guiton, but Graham will get his reps this fall, too.

"It's always heated," said Bauserman of the competition. "Some days (Kenny) is better than me and some days I am better than him. Some days Taylor is better than all of us. It goes around."

Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for He can be reached at [email protected].

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