Corey Brown had a meeting with Miami Dolphins officials before Ohio State’s pro day on Friday, and they asked the former Ohio State receiver an interesting question:
If he had his choice, which Buckeyes player would he like to accompany him to Miami?
Brown’s answer: Kenny Guiton.
Guiton is considered a marginal NFL prospect. His folk-hero status among Buckeyes fans for his play against Purdue in 2012 means nothing to NFL scouts. His superb job filling in for injured Braxton Miller last season — 14 touchdown passes in only 109 attempts, albeit against weak competition — doesn’t erase concern among scouts who question whether his arm is up to NFL standards.
But Guiton already has beaten the odds to even get a sniff of the NFL. The Buckeyes offered him a scholarship in 2009 only because the other quarterbacks they were pursuing opted to go elsewhere. Guiton’s only other offer on signing day was from Prairie View A&M, a Football Championship Subdivision school in his home state of Texas.
So tell Guiton that he’s a long shot, and he will do what he does naturally anyway — smile and vow to prove skeptics wrong.
“I just want a shot,” Guiton said after the pro day. “Free agency or late rounds, it doesn’t matter. I just want a shot.”
Guiton had other options. He eventually wants to pursue coaching, and Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer has said he would love to add Guiton as a graduate assistant. Guiton needed to have a 3.0 grade-point average to be eligible, and he said he did.
“I definitely had to wrestle with it,” Guiton said of starting a coaching career now, “but it’s a dream of mine to play in the NFL. I would be mad at myself if I didn’t try to pursue that dream. …Coaching will be there. I’ll come back. I’ll be in coaching. It’s in my heart. Football is in my heart.”
Heart is Guiton’s best asset. When Meyer was prepared to boot him off the team because of a less-than-sterling reputation, Guiton quickly worked his way into the new regime’s good graces. Last year, he was named one of the team’s eight captains, almost unheard of for a nonstarter.
“He’s a leader,” Brown said. “He’s a winner. He’s got a good personality. He’s a dude who can bring the locker room up. In my opinion, he’ll make any NFL roster. He’s as good as I’ve seen throwing the ball, and every time he gets in, he produces. All he needs is a chance.”
Guiton said he has concentrated on adding strength to his shoulder in hopes of improving his throwing velocity. During pro day, he tried to put extra oomph on the ball. Sometimes, however, he sacrificed accuracy. A few throws were low or behind receivers.
“There are always two or three throws you wish you could have back,” he said. “It’s something I’ll work on daily and get better at.”
Guiton doesn’t have to be told that the history of the NFL is loaded with quarterbacks who were drafted late or not at all and were successful. He said he hopes to model himself after New England Patriots star Tom Brady, a sixth-round pick, and Matt Cassel, a seventh-rounder who has played nine NFL seasons.
The Patriots are the only team so far to have scheduled a workout with Guiton, he said. That will be March 26.
All it takes, Guiton knows, is one team to give him a shot. If that happens, he will be ready.
“Once you get into a camp,” he said, “it’s all on you.”
By Bill Rabinowitz
©2014 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)
Visit The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) at www.dispatch.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services