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June 25, 2013

Guiton dealing with hand injury

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The 2013 college football season hasn't even started yet, but Ohio State could already be facing at least one obstacle in its quest for a second consecutive undefeated season.

Meeting with reporters at Tuesday's Greater Columbus Sports Commission Morning Report, Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer revealed that backup quarterback Kenny Guiton has been hampered by a hand injury this offseason. Currently in a dead period where he's not allowed to have football-related contact with his players, Meyer was unable to disclose the severity of Guiton's injury, nor what caused it.

"Kenny Guiton has a minor injury with his hand, but I'm not sure how serious. I'm going to find out," Meyer said.

Offseason injuries are nothing new to Meyer, who a year ago was forced to deal with running back Jordan Hall accidentally lacerating his foot on a piece of glass. Hall ultimately missed all of fall camp and the first two weeks of the season due to the injury.

Asked if Guiton's hand injury was as severe as what Hall dealt with last summer, Meyer responded: "I don't know."

While Guiton sits behind reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Braxton Miller on the Ohio State depth chart, the fifth-year senior is the only quarterback outside of Miller with any playing experience at the college level on the Buckeyes roster. Presumed third-string quarterback Cardale Jones redshirted in 2012, while true freshman J.T. Barrett has spent the offseason recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered in high school.

Appearing for Miller in spot duty in 2012, Guiton completed 13 of 23 pass attempts for 139 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 32 yards on nine attempts. The Houston, Texas native also managed to keep the Buckeyes' undefeated season intact with an improbable come-from-behind win over Purdue on Oct. 20, in which he directed a 61-yard touchdown drive in regulation's final 47 seconds and completed a 2-point conversion, before the Buckeyes beat the Boilermakers in overtime.

Referred to by OSU offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman as "Coach Kenny" and "the best backup quarterback in college football," Guiton has also been lauded for his efforts as a mentor on the Buckeyes' sideline. The 6-foot-3, 208-pounder was appointed by Meyer as a member of the team's leadership committee in 2012.

Ohio State's season kicks off Aug. 31 when the Buckeyes host Buffalo.

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