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New Rutgers QB Held in Assault

Rutgers transfer quarterback Philip Nelson has been jailed following an altercation in Mankato, Minnesota that sent a former Minnesota State player to the hospital in critical condition.


Philip Nelson
Philip Nelson after being booked (Blue Earth County Jail)

A police statement says officers came across 24-year-old Isaac Kolstad, of Mankato, while patrolling the city’s entertainment district around 2 a.m. It says the 20-year-old Nelson was arrested at the scene and taken to the Blue Earth County jail.

KTOE-AM reports police are requesting charges of third-degree assault.

In a statement, Kolstad’s family described him as “very strong and determined young man, who is dearly loved by his family and friends. We would respectfully ask for your continued prayers.” He was in critical condition Sunday.

An indoor candlelight vigil was held for the 20-year-old at the MSU Mankato football field on Sunday night attended by over 200 people, including many members of the Golden Gopher football team according to the Star-Tribune.  “We’re all going through it together, “  MSU Mankato Athletic Director told KSTP TV. “Maverick football is part of Isaac, and Isaac is a part of  Maverick football.”

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports Kolstad graduated in December and was working as a sales rep for Fastenal, a manufacturer of construction supplies.

Police are looking for a second suspect. City spokeswoman Shelly Schulz says it’s an ongoing investigation and more information will be released as it becomes available. The Star-Tribune reports Nelson’s name was mentioned in dispatch recordings.

Steph Stassen, a graduate student who said she witnessed the assault, told the Star Tribune that the bars had just closed when “all of a sudden, this guy comes out of nowhere and sucker punches” Kolstad. Stassen and her roommate said another person, not Nelson, threw the punch, but that a man she later learned was Nelson then kicked Kolstad in the head “like it was a soccer ball — just out of nowhere.”

Vigil held in Minnesota for Issac Kolstad
Vigil held in Minnesota for Issac Kolstad (@StomperMaverkck via Twitter)

Nelson left the Gophers football team in January to transfer to Rutgers. reports he participated in spring practice but NCAA transfer rules would keep him on the bench for the 2014 season. He was a star at Mankato West High School, where he was Minnesota’s Mr. Football in 2011. Kolstad attended rival Mankato East according to KTSP TV.

Rutgers Senior Associate Athletic Director and Communications Director Jason Baum in a statement said, “We are in the process of gathering information on the situation and reserve comment until the legal process is complete.”


The Associated Press contributed to this report

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