Freshman QB Nelson expected to start at Wisconsin

Dane Mizutani

Gophers true freshman quarterback Philip Nelson will start Saturday at Wisconsin, the Star Tribune reported Friday.

Nelson, a highly-touted recruit out of Mankato West High School, is viewed as the quarterback of the future for the program. He was Minnesota's Mr. Football in 2011 but was expected to redshirt his first season with the Gophers.

Previous starting quarterback MarQueis Gray is injured, and backup Max Shortell has been highly inconsistent in his three starts this season.

It would be the second week in a row the Gophers burn a freshman's redshirt, as running back Rodrick Williams and tight end Lincoln Plsek both played last weekend against Northwestern.