Ex-Gophers quarterback pleads guilty in Mankato assault

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) Former Minnesota Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson has pleaded guilty to fifth-degree assault in a fight that left a former Mankato football player with a serious brain injury.

Nelson entered his plea Wednesday. The 21-year-old collegiate athlete had been charged with two felony assault charges that carried a maximum 20 years in prison. The misdemeanor charge carries a possible 90 days in jail.

The Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1Cbu0N5 ) reports that Nelson told the judge he didn’t know Isaac Kolstad, a former Minnesota State linebacker, but acknowledged they fought last May in Mankato.

A medical expert previously said Nelson’s kick to Kolstad’s head probably didn’t cause his severe injuries and that it was likely the result of a punch by another defendant and his head hitting the pavement.

Sentencing is scheduled Feb. 25.

Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com