An Early Look at Philip Nelson

Philip Nelson, the true freshman QB out of Mankato West High School got a decent number of reps in the Gophers' spring scrimmage after getting the chance to start for the Gold team.

Unfortunately for him, it looked as though all the wide receivers were playing for the Maroon team while Nelson's teammates, on the other hand, dropped a total of three passes to help him finish 0 for 6 on the day.

Of course Nelson was not perfect in his debut either – his first throw of the day came on a rollout to his right with him throwing on the move and the ball sailed wide out of bounds. He also showed a tendency to lock onto his receivers early without really going through his full read progressions.

On one play he turned his back to the defense on a play-action fake and seemed to turn around already having decided where to throw the ball and launched it downfield along the right sideline, but the receiver on that side got pressed at the line and never even finished his route.

Even with all the dropped passes and the errant throws, there were a lot of positive things about Nelson's performance, especially when considering that he is only a freshman and this was his first game-like situation at this level.

He made several nice throws that should have been caught, released the ball quickly, and did a nice job of using his feet to move the ball on several occasions. He also seems very comfortable running the Gophers spread option offense, always carrying out his fakes well and just being in command of the offense.

This game should be a great learning experience for him and will certainly help him grow into the quarterback he is capable of being at the college level.


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