Even before welcoming in Terrelle Pryor as the final piece of the team's class of 2008, Tressel lost backup Rob Schoenhoft as he transferred to Delaware. Then after the Buckeyes beat out the rest of the country for Pryor, Antonio Henton saw the writing on the wall and followed suit, transferring to Georgia Southern.
Those transfers meant that Tressel entered the 2008 season with three quarterbacks in senior Todd Boeckman, Pryor and redshirt freshman Joe Bauserman. With walk-on Ross Oltorik serving as the emergency backup, it was clear that OSU would want to land a quarterback for its class of 2009.
So how did the Buckeyes find themselves in a position where they ended up landing a quarterback in Kenneth Guiton who was set to attend nearby I-AA school Prairie View A&M until they showed up on his doorstep?
According to quarterbacks coach Joe Daniels, OSU found itself a victim of both a focused recruiting approach and numbers in a class that had 24 verbal commitments as of Sept. 1.
"We wanted to have a quarterback in the class," he said on signing day. "We felt that we needed one from a numbers sake if nothing else. We knew we wanted to have a quarterback, but it was a situation that we don't think you can go out and offer three or four quarterbacks and hope you get one because it's Ohio State. You're going to attract some people because it's Ohio State.
"It isn't the best way to do it, but we were sort of backed into that situation."
Being backed into the situation meant eventually landing three-star prospect Kenneth Guiton from Houston Eisenhower. Guiton first heard from the Buckeyes exactly one week before signing day after both five-star prospect Tajh Boyd and then two-star athlete Austin Boucher had turned down OSU's overtures in the week prior.
The Buckeyes are high on Guiton's upside, and Tressel extolled the benefits of playing in a football-crazed state like Texas. However, the fact remains that OSU found its collective back to the wall trying to land a quarterback to this class despite knowing for some time that it hoped to sign one.
Boyd's situation did not help things. Tressel said that OSU was essentially recruiting only the Virginia native until he selected Clemson on Jan. 27. Adding to that, as Daniels mentioned, was the fact that the class was rapidly filling up and for a time the coaches thought they were going to find themselves accepting more commitments than they had available scholarships.
"We were thrown into the late fire a little bit, but thank goodness it's Ohio State and when we made a call after we went back and said, ‘Who fits what we need (and) who would like to come in here and be developed?' " Tressel said. "Kenny Guiton is the perfect guy for us."
While Daniels remained in Columbus as he continued to recover from a medical situation, football operations assistant Nick Siciliano was out recruiting for him. According to Siciliano, there was a plan all along that resulted in OSU eventually landing Guiton.
"We just went down the steps as they occurred and went from there," he said. "It wasn't anything earth-shattering. Of course we'd like to know things sooner, but we weren't frustrated at all because we had it all planned out exactly what we needed to do. You've always got to have a plan."
Siciliano added that Guiton was a player who had already been on their radar, and a few phone calls helped assure the Buckeyes that he would be a good fit.
When he arrives in Columbus this summer, Guiton will immediately assume the role of third-stringer behind Pryor and Joe Bauserman. One of his primary tasks will be to add size to his listed 6-3, 180-pound frame.
Both Pryor and Bauserman have three years of eligibility remaining, a fact that further complicated matters.
"I think the reality of our quarterback system is that we had two quarterbacks returning, which is attractive," Tressel said. "Then it flips over and both quarterbacks have three years left and both are pretty good."
In the end, it appears the Buckeyes got what they wanted: a player who is capable of filling out the depth chart and comfortable with the very real likelihood that he will never see a meaningful snap during his tenure in Columbus.
That does not mean that OSU is not high on what Guiton might be able to provide, however.
"We're extremely excited about Kenny Guiton," Siciliano said. "He's an athletic kid that we feel can really do some things that we've already done in our offense. He throws the ball well, he runs the ball well. It'll be nice to get him here and see what he really can do."