Rutgers quarterback Philip Nelson arrested after altercation leaves former football player fighting for his life


(Associated Press)

Philip Nelson, who started nine games at quarterback for the Minnesota football team last season before transferring to Rutgers in January, was arrested early Sunday after an altercation that left a 24-year-old former player at Minnesota State, Mankato, in critical condition.

From the Associated Press:

A police statement said officers came across Isaac Dallas Kolstad, 24, of Mankato, while patrolling the [city of Mankato’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.

All assault charges are considered felonies in Minnesota. Third-degree assault is applied when one person “inflicts substantial bodily harm” on another, and carries a maximum five-year prison sentence if found guilty.

Nelson, who is from Mankato, completed 94 of 186 passes for 1,306 yards and nine touchdowns last season as a sophomore at Minnesota, leading the Golden Gophers in total offense. He also started the final seven games of the 2012 season as a true freshman. Citing a desire to play in a more pass-oriented offense, Nelson announced he was transferring to Rutgers in January, and planned to sit out this season under NCAA transfer rules.

Kolstad’s father is posting updates on his son’s condition on caringbridge.org:

“Isaac suffered a severe head injury early this morning. He is currently in Critical condition and fighting for his life. He is young and strong, but the battle he has in front of him is enormous. He had one surgery today to put a pressure gauge in his skull. He may need additional surgeries in the coming days. We do know that his brain did sustain permanent damage. We do not yet know to what extent and won’t for many days. He is very sick. Please pray for Isaac and all of those involved.”

“We are in the process of gathering information on the situation and reserve comment until the legal process is complete,” Rutgers athletic department spokesman Jason Baum said in a statement released to NJ.com.

After spending the first 17 years of his Post career writing and editing, Matt and the printed paper had an amicable divorce in 2014. He's now blogging and editing for the Early Lead and the Post's other Web-based products.

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