Coach Kill said in a statement issued by the school, "Philip is a terrific young man, and I wish him all the best as he continues his education and football career elsewhere," said Kill, who is on the road recruiting. "I want to thank Philip for the contributions he made to our football program both on and off the field, and I will do anything I can to help him both now and in the future."
The 6-2, 216-pound signal caller gave his statement to KFXN-FM in Minneapolis: "I am looking to play in a system that centers more around the pass game which utilizes my skill sets," said Nelson. "I am excited to go out and meet with programs that match up with my talents."
"I want to thank Coach Kill for the opportunity to play football at the University of Minnesota," Nelson said. "I have the utmost respect for Coach Kill and what he's done for this program. I also want to reach out to all the great Minnesota fans that supported the football program and say thank you. Your effort makes a difference."
Gopher sophomore quarterback Philip Nelson this past season was 94-186 for 1,306 yards with a completion rate of 50.5%. He had also thrown for 9 touchdowns and had 6 interceptions. In a running oriented offense, he was used to carry the ball 93 times for 364 yards and 6 rushing scores. In the second quarter of games, he was 33-50 for 495 yards and 6 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions. However, in the fourth quarter he was a miserable 19-47 for 299 yards and a passing touchdown along with 2 interceptions. Nelson showed statically this year that he performed better in the first half over the second half, which can be concerning when there isn't a big lead to play with. With his injury and the emergence of backup quarterback Mitch Leidner, that might have played a role in his decision as well in my opinion.
This pretty much gives redshirt freshman Gopher quarterback Mitch Leidner the keys to the Minnesota offense, where he performed fairly well in the limited time of action he saw this past season.