The 6-foot-3, 212-pound Nelson had a dominant junior season, throwing for 2,300 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also ran for over 600 yards and added 13 scores on the ground. Nelson's blend of passing skills mixed with athleticism will give the Gopher offense a dynamic, dual-threat signal caller under center.
One of the main reasons for his early commitment to Minnesota was his relationship with coach Kill.
"Coach Kill and I are very similar. Family guys who likes doing things the old fashioned way — flat-out hard work," Nelson said. "He has been so honest to me throughout this process and I'm appreciative he's treated me the way he has."
How did coach Kill react when he received a commitment from likely the top quarterback on the board?
"He was very excited and happy, but at the same time he also wanted to make sure that this is where I want to be and I let him know that I'm 110% sure I want to be a Gopher."
The Nelson family wasn't always a Gopher family. Philip's father, Pat, played football for the Wisconsin Badgers but was excited when his son chose to become a Golden Gopher.
"My dad told me he is so proud of me, and he thinks this is the best decision I could have made."
Nelson led his high school, Mankato West, to a State Tournament berth last fall and mentioned that one quality he brings to a football team is leadership.
"I bring leadership and unselfishness," he said. I will do whatever it takes to win and I can promise you that I will be the hardest working guy around, and I'll help everyone around me be a better football player also."
Nelson isn't waiting until he gets on campus to make an impact. He is already taking initiative in helping his future teammates become better football players.
"Oh yeah, me and [Andre McDonald] have been talking the past couple of weeks and we already have made plans to work out together once he's done with his basketball season."
Wide receiver Andre McDonald said he was "super excited" to hear about the commitment of Nelson — a player he hadn't stopped recruiting since his pledge to Minnesota in early February.
How does the Gophers' newest commit feel about tossing touchdowns to the 6-foot-2, 190-pound McDonald?
"Nelson to McDonald has a sweet ring to it," he said.