During my weekend in Los Angeles as part of the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, I had a chance to talk with Kenny Guiton after one of their practices. Needless to say, the fan-favorite backup quarterback out of the Ohio State University, is an interesting player. Guiton excelled in the moments when his team needed him to step up.
To show how much players respected him, his teammates chose him as a captain -- despite being a backup. Due to injuries at quarterback, he led touchdown drives on eight of his 15 possessions series as a quarterback. In their game against Purdue, Guiton replaced an injured Braxton Miller as the Buckeyes were losing by eight points. He engineered a game-tying touchdown drive, adding two point conversion and then a winning-touchdown in overtime.
I asked Kenny about his ideal role as a rookie in the NFL:
"I think the perfect situation is coming in as a backup so you can learn," said Guiton. "I don't think I am ready now to be a starter and come in and take over a team. But I definitely think I am a great leader. I can come in and be a leader on a team and always bring my best everyday. That's what you can expect out of me. I am going to come in and compete. I am going to learn from and compete with the starter and I am going to pick his mind."
Curious to see about his prospects as an NFL quarterback, my inquiries navigated towards his expectations in the NFL. He was realistic. Could he secure a backup role while being a spot starter in a situation like the Cincinnati Bengals? Andy Dalton remains inconsistent -- appears borderline perfect in some games, but not-so-much in others -- opening a window where Guiton could find himself with an opportunity to play in the short-term.
"Definitely. I would like to be in a situation like that," said Guiton. "Anyone who has dreams of being in the NFL wants the opportunity to come in and push for a starting spot. I wouldn't mind coming in and fight for a position. If my numbers called I am going to try my best to succeed and show that I can be a franchise quarterback."
He still remembers his time at Ohio State with fondness.
"I feel like these past two years I have been a part of being 24-0 and I will always remember that. It was incredible when 107,000 fans were chanting Kenny-G, Kenny-G. I will always remember that and being a part of The Ohio State University"
Cincinnati doesn't figure to take a quarterback high in the 2014 NFL draft and Guiton is being projected early as an undrafted free agent. However, his leadership and intangibles offers something of value for a team like the Cincinnati Bengals.