Tech set to unveil Nesbitt Heisman campaign

Georgia Tech will unveil its Heisman Trophy campaign for quarterback Joshua Nesbitt on Tuesday.

Watch for a website,, to go live by 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

Nesbitt, a 6-foot-1, 217-pound senior, passed for 1,701 yards and rushed for 1,037 yards last season to lead the Yellow Jackets to the ACC championship. He is considered an outside contender for the award. Alabama running back Mark Ingram, who won the award last season, is the favorite to win it again this season. The last quarterback from an option team to win the Heisman was Nebraska's Eric Crouch in 2001.

Though the trophy is named after Tech's first coach, John Heisman, who went 102-29-7 from 1904-19, no Yellow Jacket has ever won college football's most prestigious trophy, given annually to the sport's best player.

With 2,079 yards in three seasons, Nesbitt has already rushed for more yards than any quarterback in Tech's history and is just the second to rush and pass for more than 1,000 yards in a season. A Greene County High School product, Nesbitt needs 692 yards to become the most prolific rushing quarterback in ACC history.

Tech's best finishers in the Heisman voting recently were wide receiver Calvin Johnson (10th, 2006) and quarterback Joe Hamilton (2nd, 1999).

Johnson happy to start

Isaiah Johnson said that enrolling early may not have helped his chances to become just the fourth true freshman to start a Tech season-opener in the past seven years, but doing so certainly didn't hurt.

Johnson, a 6-foot-2, 191-pound safety, will follow quarterback Reggie Ball in 2003, wide receiver Calvin Johnson in 2004 and wide receiver Tyler Melton in 2008 as the most recent true freshmen to achieve that feat when the Yellow Jackets host S.C. State at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Several freshmen have started on special teams.

"It was a real good start," said Johnson, who enrolled in Tech in January along with B.J. Bostic and Charles Perkins. "It got me comfortable with the adjustment... getting comfortable with the coaches, the players."

Johnson said he's most looking forward to playing in front of the crowd, and the most important lesson he keeps telling himself is "don't get beat deep."

Johnson's former coach said he has earned the start.

"I'm not surprised, but I don't want to diminish the accomplishment," said Chip Walker, Johnson's coach at Sandy Creek High, which won the Class AAAA state championship last year. "That's a huge, huge accomplishment to go in and start your first college game. But I'm not really surprised because Isaiah is a good, good football player and an even better person. He's a great athlete and a hard worker."


Logan Walls has moved back up to No. 1 at nose tackle on the depth chart. Walls, a 6-2, 286-pound native of Dawsonville, replaces T.J. Barnes at the position. Walls missed a practice because of an undisclosed injury last week. He made 25 tackles, including two sacks, last season. ... Melton was able to practice for the first time in two weeks. ... Johnson said the team may try to run two different offensive lines against S.C. State.

AJC reporter Chip Towers contributed to this report.