Nelson to enroll at Rutgers to continue career

Philip Nelson said he wants to play for an offense that passes more.

Dane Mizutani

Former Gophers starting quarterback Philip Nelson will enroll at Rutgers to continue his college football career.

Nelson left the Minnesota football program earlier this month, saying he wanted to play in an offense centered more on the passing attack.

“I am excited to go out and meet with programs that match up with my talents,” he said in a statement earlier this month.

In Nelson’s eyes, that program is Rutgers.

The Scarlet Knights ranked 62nd in the NCAA with 235.6 passing yards per game last season. Minnesota sat 115th in the nation with a measly 148.1 passing yards per game.

Nelson, a Mankato native, started nine games for the Gophers during the 2013 season and recorded 1,306 passing yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions. He also rushed for six touchdowns in Minnesota’s run-heavy offense.

“Philip is a terrific young man, and I wish him all the best as he continues his education and football career elsewhere,” head coach Jerry Kill said in a statement the Gophers football program released on Twitter earlier this month. “I want to thank Philip for the contributions he made to our football program both on and off the field, and I will do anything I can to help him both now and in the future.”

While Nelson will be required to sit out an entire season, per NCAA transfer rules, he still has his redshirt season and therefore will have two years of eligibility once he hits the field with the Scarlet Knights.

Rutgers, one of the newest members of the Big Ten, doesn’t officially join the conference until July 1.

The Gophers aren’t scheduled to play the Scarlet Knights until Oct. 22, 2016.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.