Philip Nelson Arrested: Latest Details, Comments on Alleged Assault

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIMay 12, 2014

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Updates from Saturday, May 17

ESPN (via The Associated Press) released more details on Nelson's situation:

In a statement released through the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato, the family of 24-year-old Isaac Kolstad said he required emergency surgery Tuesday morning to relieve swelling on his brain that had increased the pressure within his skull to life-threatening levels.

"Isaac had a significant amount of his brain tissue that was no longer viable removed during that procedure," the family's statement said.

Prosecutors have charged 20-year-old former Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson, of Mankato, and 21-year-old Trevor Shelley, of St. Peter, with assault. Shelley is accused of punching Kolstad and knocking him to the ground early last Sunday during an altercation in downtown Mankato's entertainment district as bars were closing. Nelson then allegedly kicked Kolstad in the head.

Updates from Tuesday, May 13

Philip Nelson is no longer with Rutgers in the wake of his recent arrest, the school announced:

Rutgers head football coach Kyle Flood announced Tuesday that quarterback Philip Nelson (Mankato, Minn.) has been dismissed from the program.

'The Rutgers football family’s thoughts and prayers are with Isaac Kolstad and his family,' said Flood.


Updates from Monday, May 12

Philip Nelson will be formally charged after his arrest for an alleged assault (via Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett of ESPN):

Original Text

Former Rutgers quarterback Philip Nelson, who transferred from Minnesota to Rutgers in January, allegedly assaulted a man who is now fighting to stay alive from head injuries sustained in the attack. According to Dan Duggan of, Nelson was arrested early Sunday morning in Mankato, Minnesota, and booked into Blue Earth County Jail.

Duggan then reported Monday that the victim, a former linebacker for Minnesota State-Mankato by the name of Isaac Kolstad, 24, is in critical condition at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato. Kolstad's father, Blaine Kolstad, provided an update on his son's condition, per

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. He had one surgery today to put a pressure gauge in his skull. He may need additional surgeries in the coming days. We do know that his brain did sustain permanent damage. We do not yet know to what extent and won't for many days. He is very sick. Please pray for Isaac and all of those involved.

Seth Kaplan of tweeted Nelson's mugshot and a rundown of what he faces moving forward:

"We are in the process of gathering information on the situation and reserve comment until the legal process is complete," said Rutgers athletic department spokesman Jason Baum on Sunday, per Duggan.

A larger version of Nelson's mugshot.
A larger version of Nelson's mugshot.Uncredited/Associated Press

Nelson, 20, who is from Mankato, allegedly kicked Isaac Kolstad twice in the head and knocked him unconscious. While he could be facing felony third-degree assault charges, he was also charged with underage alcohol consumption. 

Police believe there may have been another man involved in the attack on Kolstad.

Nelson started his collegiate career at Minnesota and logged 16 starts in two seasons, establishing himself as a capable runner and thrower for the Golden Gophers. However, he decided to transfer to Rutgers in January and figured to be the top signal-caller for the Scarlet Knights in 2015 after sitting out next season due to transfer rules. Now, Nelson will likely be away from the gridiron for much longer—perhaps for good.

More importantly, the hope is that Kolstad, who graduated in December, recovers from his critical injuries.