November 6, 2009

Nesbitt for Heisman?

This year as a Junior, Josh Nesbitt is having a breakout season, yet nobody seems to be noticing. He has already broken every Georgia Tech rushing record imaginable by a quarterback. This includes rushing yards in a season, rushing touchdowns in a season, career rushing yards, and career rushing touchdowns.

Although it may be true that he is in a completely different offensive system, he surpassed some of the greatest mobile quarterbacks in ACC history in Joe Hamilton and Shawn Jones. Not to mention that he accomplished all of it with three games left to spare in only his second season as a starter!

Nesbitt has already rushed for 763 yards this season, good for fourth best in the ACC and 13 touchdowns, which is tied for the ACC lead and top 10 nationally. He has also passed 1172 yards and six touchdowns and his passer rating of 158.7 would easily lead the ACC and rank fifth nationally if he qualified with enough attempts. If Tech does manage to make the ACC title game and Nesbitt continues at his current pace, his stats would project out to be 1186 rushing yards, 20 rushing touchdowns, 1823 passing yards, and 10 passing touchdowns. The 20 touchdowns would tie the all-time single season NCAA record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback set by Eric Crouch and would break the ACC single season rushing record for all players of 19 touchdowns set by former Tech great, Robert Lavette.

His projected 30 total touchdowns would rank top 10 all-time in ACC history for total touchdowns by one player and he would also become one of only a handful of players in NCAA history to rush for 1,000 yards and pass for 1,500 yards in a season.

These are all what if scenarios of course, but regardless of that his current stats should distinguish him as the front-runner for ACC player of the year and a strong candidate for the Heisman trophy. Somehow, however, despite his unprecented level of success, he has not even been voted the ACC offensive player of the week. Also, let us run a quick comparison with the top two contenders for the Heisman trophy at the moment. Nesbitt has more rushing touchdowns than the top running back, Mark Ingram, and he has more total yards, total touchdowns, and a higher passer rating than Tim Tebow. One quick glance at the "expert" polls will show you that not only is Nesbitt not receiving any Heisman votes, but all 15 voters agree that he is not even in the top five at the moment.


Nevertheless, all of the talk about records and awards does not seem to affect Nesbitt one way or the other, a true testament to his character. He says, "A couple of my teammates have come up to me and told me that I'm playing like the ACC player of the year, but I don't really care much about that because I just want to win. It is a great honor to be even mentioned as a Heisman candidate, but the ultimate honor would be to win a championship."

Coach Paul Johnson has also sung high praise for Nesbitt. According to Coach Johnson, "He is confident and he is a great competitor. I am proud of Josh, he has really turned into a leader this year."
Nesbitt will attempt to lead the nation's second best rushing attack to an important ACC victory over Wake Forest that would keep Georgia Tech on top of the ACC and in the express lane on the Road to Tampa.

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