Nov. 17, 2010
By Wes Durham
Sometimes we don’t get to write the story they way we want to. Every once in a while the boy doesn’t get the girl, the star player doesn’t make the last shot and the quarterback doesn’t get to score the winning touchdown.
Today is one of those days.
It’s a tough ending for one of the toughest players Georgia Tech has ever had play football. Joshua Nesbitt will bid farewell to Grant Field and Bobby Dodd Stadium today in the same quiet manner he arrived here in 2007.
In between those dates however, Nesbitt became one of the greatest quarterbacks in school history.
Making statements like that can sometimes be difficult, but with Nesbitt, he has some standards which likely will put him among the elite quarterbacks the school has seen in its nearly 120 years of the sport.
When you start putting together a worksheet of Nesbitt’s career, you have to start with the fact that has won games. Twenty-five times in his three-years Georgia Tech has been victorious. Included among that was just the second 11-win season of the last 20 years. The Yellow Jackets captured the ACC Championship last season and played in a BCS game for the first time.
Those credentials alone put Nesbitt among the very best that Georgia Tech has had under center.
Since Shawn Jones led the Jackets to the National Championship of 1990, Nesbitt is the only quarterback to lead his team to an outright ACC title and win more than 20 games in a career. Joe Hamilton tied for the ACC title in 1998, while winning 29 games in his four-year career.
While Nesbitt has the team standards covered, he also has the record book covered as well.
He has three ACC records, along with numerous Georgia Tech marks for rushing yards by a QB, rushing touchdowns by a QB, etc.
But there is one record he’ll likely miss out on.
Nesbitt had a chance to be just the eighth player in major college football history to finish his career with 3,000 yards of rushing and 3,000 yards of passing in a career. Right now, he is 194 yards short of the rushing mark.
But when all is said and done, it will likely be the toughness that will separate Nesbitt from the rest. When Paul Johnson took over as head coach, he knew that Nesbitt would present some unique skills for his offensive system. His physical size would be one of the biggest factors, but also the fact that he was extremely competitive would help him and the Jackets become successful.
In the last three years, Nesbitt had helped make key plays, but the one play that will forever define him is the “4th and the season” conversion against Wake Forest a season ago. When the Jackets first lined up on the play, the head coach took a timeout. As the quarterback came to him on the sideline, before the head coach could say anything, Nesbitt told him, “We can get this.”
Nesbitt got the first down. One play later he scored the touchdown and Georgia Tech was headed to the win and ultimately the ACC title behind the exploits of its quarterback.
Today, Nesbitt will be introduced along with 19 other seniors on the field. Hopefully, there is a post-season game where he’ll get the stage one more time.
But if that doesn’t happen, we will have the sweet memories of success provided to us by #9.