College Football

Philip Nelson to Be Formally Charged with First-Degree and Third-Degree Assault

In this May 11, 2014 booking photo provided by Blue Earth County Jail, Philip Nelson, 20, is seen. The former Minnesota Gophers quarterback was arrested in Mankato, Minn., early Sunday, May 11, 2014, on suspicion of third-degree assault. Former Minnesota State, Mankato, linebacker Isaac Dallas Kolstad was in critical condition Monday after an alleged assault involving Nelson. (AP Photo/Blue Earth County Jail)
Uncredited/Associated Press
Tim KeeneyContributor IMay 12, 2014

Rutgers quarterback Philip Nelson, who was arrested early Sunday morning for an alleged assault in Mankato, Minnesota, will be formally charged on two counts.    

ESPN's Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett provided the news and details: 

The 20-year-old Mankato native, who transferred from the University of Minnesota to Rutgers in January, was booked into Blue Earth County Jail on suspicion of assaulting Isaac Kolstad, a former linebacker for Minnesota State-Mankato, according to multiple reports, via NJ.com's Dan Duggan

Details about the incident began to trickle forward, and according to KSTP Channel 5 News in Minnesota, Nelson went to court at 3:30 p.m. local time, where he was then charged. 

According to police, via Duggan, Nelson became extremely agitated late Saturday night when a bouncer kissed his girlfriend's hand. Later in the evening, around 2 a.m., Nelson and Kolstad got into an argument and had to be separated. Kolstad reportedly punched Nelson, and a third party, who remains unidentified, delivered a punch to Kolstad that appeared to knock him out. 

Steph Stassen, a graduate student who was on the scene, told police, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Curt Brown, it was a "sucker punch."

While Kolstad lay motionless and "clearly" defenseless, as one police officer put it, Nelson allegedly kicked him in the head. 

According to Duggan, a neurosurgeon has said he is unsure if Kolstad will survive. His father, Blaine Kolstad, gave the following update, via 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. We do not yet know the full extent of his injuries. He is very sick. Please pray for Isaac and all of those involved.

Nelson played in 11 games for the Golden Gophers last season, compiling 1,306 passing yards, 364 rushing yards and 15 combined touchdowns. He is set to sit out this season with the Scarlet Knights due to NCAA's transfer rules, but with two counts of assault, there is a strong possibility his collegiate career will be over. 

For now, though, focus should turn toward Kolstad, who is hopefully able to recover from his critical injuries.  

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