Sophomore quarterback Philip Nelson leaving Gophers


Dec 27, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson (9) hands the ball off during the first quarter of the Texas Bowl against the Syracuse Orange at Reliant Stadium . Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Starting quarterback Philip Nelson is reportedly leaving the Gophers football program after two seasons and 18 appearances.

The former three-star recruit from Mankato threw for 2,179 yards, 17 touchdowns and 14 interceptions after taking over for an injured MarQueis Gray late last year. News of his decision to transfer out of Minnesota was also confirmed by the Star Tribune from Nelson’s father.

The following is a statement from Philip Nelson:

"“I want to thank Coach Kill for the opportunity to play football at the University of Minnesota. I have the uttermost respect for Coach Kill and what he’s done for this program. I also want to reach out to to all the great Minnesota fans that supported the football program and say thank you. Your effort makes a difference.“For me, I am looking to play in a system that centers more around the pass game which utilizes my skill sets. I am excited to go out and meet with programs that match up with my talents.”"

Nelson’s last appearance for the Gophers was perhaps one of the worst of his career. In the Texas Bowl against Syracuse, Nelson threw for 18 yards on 2-of-7 attempts before redshirt freshman Mitch Leidner took over for Minnesota in a losing effort.

His best performance as a Gopher was going 16-for-23, 298 yards and four touchdowns against Indiana in early November. Minnesota won the game, 42-39.

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