Big Ten: Austin Boucher

Buckeyes' Guiton doubling as Masoli

December, 16, 2009
12/16/09
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Kenny Guiton was an eleventh-hour commitment to Ohio State, which needed a quarterback after losing targets Tajh Boyd and Austin Boucher to other programs.

Ohio State's quick courtship of Guiton in January sparked plenty of curiosity about the Texas prep star, who ran some option in high school before transitioning to a spread system. Guiton hasn't seen the field this season as the third-stringer, but he's playing a crucial role in the Buckeyes' preparation for No. 7 Oregon in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi.

See, until Jan. 1, Guiton is Jeremiah Masoli.

Masoli, the dynamic Oregon quarterback, is the trigger man for a Ducks offense that ranks sixth nationally in rushing (236.1 yards per game) and seventh in scoring (37.7 points per game). For Ohio State to keep pace with Oregon, it must slow down the 5-foot-11, 220-pound junior quarterback.

That's where Guiton and the scout team come in.

"He's done a great job of executing all year," Ohio State safety Anderson Russell said of Guiton. "He's probably not as big as Masoli is. Kenny's like 6-4, but he doesn't weigh as much. He's doing a great job of executing their fakes, and he's been watching film on those guys to give us great looks."

Many will point out that Ohio State's defense could get its best taste of what's to come from Terrelle Pryor, the Buckeyes' starting quarterback. Pryor, who strongly considered Oregon in recruiting, still is seen as a prototypical spread-offense quarterback.

Though Ohio State's offense has some parallels with Oregon's, Russell and his fellow defenders will get more out of facing Guiton and the scout team.

"There are some similarities," Russell said, "but Oregon's run game is more complex than ours is as far as a lot more misdirection. It gives us somewhat of a look, but it's still different."

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

With the real games more than two months away, Big Ten fans turned their lonely eyes to Hershey, Pa., on Saturday night to get a glimpse of several incoming recruits in the annual Big 33 Football Classic. The Ohio All-Stars ended up beating their counterparts from Pennsylvania 38-31, snapping a three-game slide, but the event featured strong performances from both sides. 

Big Ten prospects played instrumental roles in the game's outcome: 

  • Penn State recruit Curtis Drake earned MVP honors for the Pennsylvania side after rushing for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Drake tied the game at 31-31 on a 1-yard quarterback sneak and completed 8 of 16 pass attempts for 166 yards. He's expected to play slot receiver at Penn State but could fill the Derrick Williams-type slash role in the backfield.
  • Iowa recruit Micah Hyde accounted for the game's biggest play, a 99-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter after Drake fumbled on the Ohio 1-yard line and Ohio State recruit Adam Bellamy recovered. It marked the longest touchdown in game history, and Hyde finished with five receptions for 138 yards.
  • Indiana recruit Adam Replogle scored the game-winning touchdown on a 1-yard dive with 20 seconds remaining. Replogle, projected to be a defensive lineman with the Hoosiers, was surprised the coaches called his number.  
  • The Ohio squad featured seven Ohio State recruits, including offensive lineman Marcus Hall and defensive ends Jonathan Newsome and Melvin Fellows. Newsome's play drew good reviews, while Hall had a bit of a slow start in the game. Some Buckeyes fans are  wondering what might have been after watching quarterback Austin Boucher win MVP honors for the Ohio team. Ohio State made a late push for Boucher in recruiting after losing Tajh Boyd to Clemson, but Boucher stuck with his commitment to Miami (Ohio). Boucher completed 18 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns in the Big 33 game.
  • Michigan recruit Fitzgerald Toussaint had a 54-yard touchdown reception and a 6-yard touchdown run for the Ohio squad. 
  • Drake hooked up with tight end and future Penn State teammate Garry Gilliam for a 31-yard gain that set up the tying touchdown.

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Ohio State added a quarterback after all.

Spurned by Tajh Boyd and told "No, thanks," by Austin Boucher, Ohio State picked up a commitment from Kenneth Guiton, a 6-2, 178-pound quarterback from Houston. Guiton steps into the No. 3 quarterback spot behind Terrelle Pryor and Joe Bauserman.

"I never thought I would get an offer from Ohio State; it really surprised me," Guiton said. "It came out of the blue."

This was a much needed pickup for Ohio State, which would have had a hard time entering 2009 with only two scholarship quarterbacks.

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Everybody's workin' for the weekend.

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

It seemed like an offer Austin Boucher couldn't refuse, but the prep quarterback said, "No, thanks," to Ohio State on Wednesday night and will honor his commitment to Miami (Ohio).

Ohio State made a late attempt to land Boucher, offering him a scholarship Tuesday night, hours after another quarterback prospect, Tajh Boyd, announced he would attend Clemson. Given the chance to suit up in Scarlet and Gray and possibly back up Terrelle Pryor, Boucher opted to stick with the RedHawks, where he should play early in his career.

"That is huge," Boucher said. "They've got Pryor and I know [head coach Jim Tressel] is already looking at some 2010 quarterbacks. There's always going to be competition, but I want to be the No. 1 guy. I was [Miami's] No. 1 recruit, where at OSU I'm not Terrelle Pryor."

You've got to admire Boucher's perspective in an age where recruits are promised things and told they're better than they are. Though he would have been a play or two away from the field at Ohio State, Miami probably provides a better long-term opportunity for playing time.

Ohio State remains on the lookout for a third scholarship quarterback behind Pryor and Joe Bauserman. The Buckeyes undoubtedly will add an arm or two in the 2010 class, but they don't want to enter next fall so thin at the quarterback spot.

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Ohio State or Miami (Ohio)?

It seems like a no-brainer, especially for a kid from the Buckeye State.

Austin Boucher faces this decision after receiving a scholarship offer from Ohio State on Tuesday night, hours after top quarterback prospect Tajh Boyd announced he would attend Clemson over Ohio State and Oregon. Boucher originally committed to Toledo but recently switched to Miami (Ohio), where he should be in the mix to start in the next few seasons.

Ohio State desperately needs a third scholarship quarterback to go along with starter Terrelle Pryor and backup Joe Bauserman. Boucher fills a need in Columbus, but his prospects for field time are somewhat slim, as The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Doug Lesmerises writes in his blog:

At Ohio State, Boucher would be the third quarterback on scholarship this season. But he certainly won't be beating out Terrelle Pryor over the next two seasons. And the Buckeyes will recruit over Boucher in the next year or two, bringing in a quarterback they believe can start when Pryor moves on.

There is no guarantee at either school for the two-star recruit with the state title. But certainly he has a better chance to play at Miami. And of his two choices, only one has a former quarterback starting in the Super Bowl on Sunday - and it's not Ohio State.

But Ohio State is Ohio State, even if the Buckeyes did only offer him as a backup plan. That's how recruiting works. And he is an Ohio kid.

As Lesmerises goes on to write, Boucher can't really make the wrong move here. The MAC certainly has produced its share of pro quarterbacks, one of whom, former Miami (Ohio) star Ben Roethlisberger, will try to win his second Super Bowl on Sunday.

But it'd be tough to see Boucher turn down the Buckeyes, even though he knows he wasn't the team's first option.

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Quarterback Tajh Boyd won't be wearing Scarlet and Gray this fall.

Boyd, the nation's No. 5 quarterback according to ESPN's Scouts Inc., announced at a news conference that he'll attend Clemson. Ohio State and Oregon were the other contenders for Boyd's services.

With only two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster -- Terrelle Pryor and Joe Bauserman -- Ohio State could look to add a signal-caller for its 2009 class. Boyd would have been an excellent fit at Ohio State, but the opportunity to join a team without a clear-cut starter likely made the difference.

The Columbus Dispatch mentioned Toledo commit Austin Boucher as a potential late recruiting target for the Buckeyes.

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