Live Evaluation: Philip Nelson

A live evaluation of Mankato West (Minn.) quarterback Philip Nelson. The Minnesota commit led Mankato West to a 44-28 victory against Waconia.

Philip Nelson
Mankato West
Class: 2012
Position: QB
Ht: 6'3"
Wt: 216
Recruiting Notes: Committed to Minnesota

Nelson finished the regular season with one of the highest totals in touchdown passes in the state, and he didn't make his team wait very long before delivering another one in this game, tossing a TD pass on the second play of the game. He throws a beautiful deep ball, is very accurate as a thrower, and makes good, quick decisions.

He does a great job reading the defense, before and after the snap, even checking out of bad plays at the line of scrimmage on a few occasions based on what the defense was showing. He handles pressure well, usually converting in third-and-short or fourth-and-short situations, and seems very competitive.

As good as Nelson has been throwing the ball, he is surprisingly very athletic too and has great speed for a quarterback with his size. He runs the ball very well and even scored a pair of touchdowns on the ground in this game, including one where he made a great diving effort while switching the ball to his other hand to reach inside the pylon before falling out of bounds. Defenses are going to have to work very hard to keep him contained in the pocket or he will gain a lot of yards running on them.

The one area where Nelson needs to improve the most is with his short to intermediate throws. His release is a bit slow and he appears to keep his elbow back too far at times while delivering the ball. When that happens, he doesn't get a lot of velocity on the ball and so his throws tend to float in the air too long, which could be a problem when he is facing defensive backs in the Big 10 who are much faster than the typical high school athletes.

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