ATLANTA — Georgia Tech wants Heisman Trophy voters to know quarterback Joshua Nesbitt is the most interesting player in college football.
Georgia Tech launched a website on Tuesday to promote Nesbitt as a Heisman candidate. Nesbitt wears a tuxedo on www.Nesbitt4Heisman.com as he spoofs the older, bearded star of the Dos Equis beer advertising campaign.
The Dos Equis actor, who is billed as the most interesting man in the world, asks viewers to “Stay thirsty, my friends.” Nesbitt’s request is “Vote for me, my friends.”
This is Georgia Tech’s first Heisman Trophy campaign since 1999, when quarterback Joe Hamilton finished second to Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne.
Nesbitt said he likes the new website since it also promotes the team.
“I was happy for the whole situation, but overall, it’s putting the team out there,” Nesbitt said Tuesday. “When you see the site, you also see Georgia Tech and it’s great for the program.”
The Heisman campaign could be a challenge.
Nesbitt has completed only 45 percent of his passes in his three seasons. He completed 75 of 162 passes (46.3 percent) for 1,701 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
It’s easy to overlook a quarterback on a run-first offense. The No. 16 Yellow Jackets are not expected to change that commitment to the run in 2010.
“I’m not really focused on that,” Nesbitt said. “I was just looking to boost the program. Whoever’s behind it, let them do their job. If they want to hype it up, I’ll let them do that and I’m just going out and playing.”
Nesbitt (6-1, 218) is better known for his powerful runs than his passes in coach Paul Johnson’s spread option offense. He ran for 1,037 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2009 and led Georgia Tech to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship.
“He’s certainly deserving, I think,” Johnson said Tuesday when asked about Nesbitt’s Heisman chances. “Hopefully he’ll have his best year.”
Nesbitt was a first-team All-ACC pick in 2009, but the senior was not included on the media’s preseason All-ACC team this year.
He ranked only 93rd in the nation with 1,701 yards passing last year. Georgia Tech was second in the nation in rushing but only 116th of 120 FBS schools in passing.
Georgia Tech is promoting Nesbitt’s leadership and dual skills as a rusher and passer. The Yellow Jackets are 20-7 since Nesbitt became the team’s starter.
Johnson said the best promotion for Nesbitt will be another successful season.
“I think if your team wins every week, it helps, if you look at history,” Johnson said. “Just play. You can’t go out and try to win the Heisman. You just go play and if things fall into place and the team does well and you perform and you’re still being mentioned late in the year and you happen to win the big game and you play really well in a marquee game, I guess that’s how you win.”
Nesbitt’s teammates, including 2009 senior offensive lineman Cord Howard, respect the quarterback’s toughness.
“The guy once fumbled just to see what it felt like,” Howard says on the website. “He didn’t like it and snatched it right back from the defender.”
Nesbitt passed Hamilton last season for the most yards rushing by a Georgia Tech quarterback. Nesbitt’s 2,069 yards rushing rank 10th overall on the school’s career list. He is 11th with 2,602 yards passing.
“He deserves it,” said defensive end Jason Peters of the Heisman campaign. “He’s a great quarterback and works extremely hard. I hope he has a really good chance to do his thing and show what he can do.”