MHS senior Guido extends his career, signs with Graceland football program

Marshalltown senior Christian Guido had just one season to make his mark on the Bobcat football program and try to extend his career to the collegiate level.

Having not played a ton of snaps in his first three seasons, Guido made the most of his opportunity on the gridiron in 2013 and, despite a 1-8 record from the Bobcats, found a way to earn himself a college scholarship.

And after receiving opportunities to play at both NCAA Division II Upper Iowa University and NAIA Graceland University, Guido decided to take the guaranteed scholarship and will head to Lamoni to play for the Yellow Jackets after signing his national letter of intent with Graceland on Friday at the high school.

“It felt like a good fit for me and my family,” said Guido. “It is smaller and I like that about it. I could have worked my way into a scholarship at Upper Iowa, but Graceland guaranteed me a scholarship for five years.”

Guido was stuck behind some talented Bobcats during his first three seasons at the school and only played on the offensive line this past season. But he will continue with his development of protecting quarterbacks as opposed to tackling them as the Yellow Jackets plan to first try Guido at offensive guard.

“He can play anywhere, but it doesn’t surprise me that they are starting him out at offensive guard,” said Marshalltown coach Aaron Shipley. “He has the type of game and that type of mean streak to him. He has a high motor, really good pad level and really good leverage. He’ll outwork the guy across from him whistle to whistle.”

Graceland football coach Jeff Douglas said the Yellow Jackets’ staff first saw Guido on film and contacted him about playing down near the Iowa-Missouri border in the fall.

The program graduated five senior offensive linemen but there were nine freshmen and six juniors who played in the offensive trenches last season as well.

But if Guido is ready, he will have the chance to play right away as a true freshman.

“We feel like we are very fortunate to be able to add not only good football players but good kids to our program every year and Christian is just another example of that,” said Douglas. “We were excited with what we saw on film. We graduated four starters off our offensive line so we expect and want Christian to come in and compete for playing time right away. If he is ready, he will play as a freshman.”

The Yellow Jackets also have a junior varsity team and Guido said all freshmen are guaranteed a spot on that roster. The Bobcat senior knows that with just one year of varsity experience playing on the offensive line, there is still room for growth.

“I want to get stronger and faster and I want to improve my football IQ,” said Guido said. “I only played offensive line last year so I am still learning how to play the position.”

The Bobcats lacked in numbers last season and didn’t have a lot of experience or depth on the offensive line.

That’s why Shipley and the Marshalltown coaching staff switched Guido from defense to offense and the first-year MHS coach said his talented senior was able to find his niche.

“It was hard to notice our guys sometimes with the kind of season we had, but if you watch the film, you can see what (Christian) does and why he was able to take his talents to the next level,” said Shipley. “He’s got that mean streak you like linemen to have.”

The Yellow Jackets won their opener last year but then lost 10 straight games to finish 1-10.

The biggest adjustment Guido – and other freshmen – has to make in college involves strength and conditioning and the overall speed of the game.

“Every freshman needs to improve their overall strength and the game is faster so he’ll likely need to adjust to that,” said Douglas, who will enter his fifth year as head coach when camp opens in August. “But that’s what every other incoming freshmen who comes in needs to adjust to.”