Former Gophers QB Nelson to plead guilty to assault charge

by Sam Kraemer

Former Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson will plead guilty to fifth degree assault for his role in a fight in Mankato last May, according to the Star Tribune.

According to a statement from his lawyer, Nelson filed a petition to enter the guilty plea for a misdemeanor, and the felony charges against him have been dropped, the Star Tribune reported.

"I am saddened by what happened on May 11, 2014," Nelson wrote in a statement, according to the Star Tribune. "I still don't remember what happened that night after I was hit in the head, but I recognize that I let down my family and friends by my actions. I offer my sincere apologies to everyone involved, and I wish Isaac Kolstad the best as he continues his recovery."

Surveillance video of the altercation shows Nelson kicking former Minnesota State Mankato linebacker Isaac Kolstad in the head. Kolstad, who suffered severe brain injuries from the incident, is relearning how to perform daily functions, according to KARE 11.

Nelson, who had transferred to Rutgers University prior to the incident, was dismissed from the team days later.

The former high school standout at Mankato West saw action in part of two seasons for the University of Minnesota, passing for over 2,000 yards and 17 touchdowns.