QB Philip Nelson arrested in assault case; ex-linebacker hospitalized
Former Minnesota Gophers quarterback Philip Robert Nelson was jailed following an altercation in Mankato early Sunday that sent a former Minnesota State, Mankato, linebacker to the hospital in critical condition.
A police statement said officers came across Isaac Dallas Kolstad, 24, of Mankato, while patrolling the city’s downtown entertainment district around 2 a.m. The 20-year-old Nelson was arrested at the scene and taken to the Blue Earth County jail, the statement said.
Police are requesting felony charges of third-degree assault, KTOE-AM reported.
Nelson left the Gophers in January to transfer to Rutgers, which is moving into the Big Ten next season. He played in 11 games last season, but said Rutgers offered a more pass-friendly offense. He completed 50.5 percent of his passes for 1,306 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions last season. He also rushed for 364 yards and six touchdowns while sharing quarterback duties with Mitch Leidner.
Nelson was going to sit out the 2014 season and then would have had two seasons of eligibility left. Nelson was a star at Mankato West High School, where he was both Minnesota’s Mr. Football and the Associated Press Player of the Year in 2011.
Kolstad was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato. He graduated from Mankato East and spent two seasons at North Dakota State in 2008 and 2009, did not play in 2010, then transferred to Minnesota State for his junior and senior years. He started all 12 games last season and finished third on the team in tackles with 59.
Police were looking for a second suspect.
”It’s an ongoing investigation and as more information becomes available we’ll be releasing it,” city spokeswoman Shelly Schulz said.
A phone message left at a number listed for Nelson’s parents in Mankato was not immediately returned.
”We are in the process of gathering information on the situation and reserve comment until the legal process is complete,” Rutgers athletics spokesman Jason Baum said in a statement.