Vote for me, my friends.
With those words, Georgia Tech quarterback Joshua Nesbitt’s Heisman campaign has started.
Spoofing the “Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials for Dos Equis beer, Georgia Tech has taken a humorous approach to try and help Nesbitt become the first Yellow Jacket to win the Heisman Trophy, given annually to college football’s best player.
On a website devoted to him, nesbitt4heisman.com, Nesbitt will give a weekly take on a different aspect of football, from punting, to going for it on fourth down. At the end of each video Nesbitt says, “Vote for me, my friends,” instead of the “Stay thirsty, my friends,” made famous by the Equis pitchman.
“I was happy for the whole situation, but overall just happy putting the team out there,” Nesbitt said. “When you look at the site you think of Georgia Tech. It’s great for the program.”
Tech’s entire campaign costs less than $500, or the cost of the tuxedo that was rented for Nesbitt to wear and a photographer to shoot a few photos. Tech coach Paul Johnson said he liked what he saw of the spot.
“It’s catchy. It’s good,” Johnson said. “He’s certainly deserving. Hopefully, he’ll have his best year.”
As for what it will take to win, Johnson answered with his typically dry humor.
“Get more votes than the other guy,” he said. After the laughter died down, Johnson elaborated a bit, saying that a player can’t go out and try to win the Heisman. All he can do is go out and try to win the games.
Nesbitt did a lot of that last year, leading Tech to an 11-3 record and the ACC championship. He passed for 1,701 yards and rushed for 1,037 yards. 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.
The videos for the Heisman campaign were shot on Aug. 4 at Opera, a local nightclub that former Tech quarterback Taylor Bennett works for. They donated a three-hour window of time for the Tech to shoot the spots. A company that handles Tech’s online media guides put together the website for free.
In the videos, Nesbitt wears a tuxedo and football cleats, while teammates, Tech cheerleaders and dance team members, and Buzz mill about in the background, just like beautiful people do in the TV commercials. Former teammates sing Nesbitt’s praises. In one, guard Cord Howard says that Nesbitt once fumbled to see what it felt like, didn’t like it, and snatched the ball back. As Howard’s voice-over plays, there is video playing of Nesbitt famously snatching a fumble away from FSU linebacker Nigel Carr in last season’s 49-44 win in Tallahassee. The scripts were a collaborative effort from Tech’s sports information department and videographers.
The website features photo galleries of Nesbitt, video highlights, story links, downloadable items and a comments section.
Nesbitt said he ad-libbed a little bit during the shoot to personalize it. He said he also may go into acting. “I’m the next Denzel Washington,” he joked.
Nesbitt’s teammates said they have no problem with him getting more attention.
“If he just keeping doing what he does, I think he’ll be fine,” defensive end Jason Peters said. “He’s shown that he has the talent, that he has the presence, that he has the arm. I just hope everything works well for him.”
Florida State is the only other ACC school to start a Heisman campaign this season. They began promoting quarterback Christian Ponder at the ACC media meetings in Greensboro in July by handing out leather notebooks and cards. Last season, Clemson used a life-size poster of running back C.J. Spiller to tout his Heisman chances.
The last Tech player to have a Heisman campaign was Joe Hamilton in 1999. He finished second. The theme was “Hamilton for Heisman.” The campaign included mouse pads, a website, envelopes and mailing labels featuring Hamilton. Mike Finn, formerly Tech’s sports information director who now works in a similar capacity for the ACC, said the entire campaign cost “a couple thousand dollars.” He and former assistant SID Allison George, who now works at Georgia State, put the push together. Interestingly, it was the first time that a CD was used to promote a player.
“I thought it made a difference. It got his name out,” Finn said. “It got a nice bump for him in the preseason with the CD going out. People really took notice of him.”
Tech in the Heisman Trophy voting
2006: Calvin Johnson, WR 10th
1999: Joe Hamilton, QB 2nd
1978: Eddie Lee Ivery, TB 8th
1966: Lenny Snow, TB 14th
1963: Billy Lothridge, QB 2nd
1962: Billy Lothridge, QB 8th
1943: Eddie Prokop, HB 5th
1942: Clint Castleberry, HB 3rd