Nelson dismissed from Rutgers; second suspect arrested

Former Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson was charged with first- and third-degree assault Monday.

Betsy Helfand

Just after it began, Philip Nelson’s Rutgers career is officially over.

The Rutgers football team released Nelson, the once highly touted Gophers quarterback, on Tuesday, a day after he was charged with first- and third-degree assault.

According to a criminal complaint, Nelson kicked Kolstad, a former Minnesota State-Mankato linebacker, in the head during an altercation in Mankato, Minn., that took place Sunday morning. 

Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood announced the dismissal in a statement Tuesday.

“The Rutgers football family’s thoughts and prayers are with Isaac Kolstad and his family,” Flood said in the statement.

Kolstad remained in critical condition as of Wednesday afternoon, according to a caringbridge.org post from his father, Blaine Kolstad.

Mankato police arrested a second suspect, Trevor Shelley, 21, on Tuesday. He allegedly punched Kolstad in the head causing him to go limp and collapse, according to a criminal complaint.

Both Shelley and Nelson are graduates of Mankato West High School.

Nelson played for Minnesota for two seasons before transferring to Rutgers in January. He participated in spring practices with the team, but had yet to appear in a game.