Minnesota Football: Will Philip Nelson’s play be missed?

Earlier this week, Minnesota football quarterback Philip Nelson announced his plans to transfer to a school that plays to his strengths in the passing game. This news came as a surprise to some because Nelson seemed to play a beneficial role for the Gophers at the quarterback position.

The question all Gopher football fans should be asking themselves is this: will we really miss Nelson?

Truthfully, this is not a huge loss for Minnesota for a few reasons. The Gophers are a dominant running team and their offense focuses primarily on running back David Cobb. Cobb rushed for over 1,000 yards last season in limited play; the Gophers will look to him a lot next season.

Minnesota Football

Chris Streveler has a good chance to be the starting quarterback for the Gophers next season.
(Photo Credit:andy Bressner)

Minnesota ranked towards the bottom of the Big 10 in passing yards last season, and Nelson had his fair share of struggles. It’ll be interesting to see how he progresses in a system that focuses on passing the ball. Nelson demonstrated sub-par throwing accuracy when he was given the chance to throw the ball with the Gophers. This could be a red flag for any team that wants to give him a scholarship to play football for them.

The Gophers also have other options like Chris Streveler and Mitch Leidner at quarterback. Nelson, as I mentioned in my last post, was not promised the starting job for next season. The job is now officially up for grabs and let’s hope that one of the new guys can step up and excel in Jerry Kill’s system.

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I hope Nelson succeeds at wherever he decides to transfer to, but this is not a significant loss for Minnesota. I think this team could actually win 10 games next season, especially if they can land Jeff Jones. Imagine having two excellent running backs playing every down.

The players who bought into Kill’s system are still with the team, and even with Nelson on his way out the future is still bright for Gopher football.


  • Paulie

    Nelson won’t be missed, season ticket holder for past 14 years the last 2 seasons with Nelson have been frustrating watching Nelson underthrow or overthrow his team. Nelson wants to go to a program that will highlight his passing game only problem is Nelson is not a passing QB at least at the Div-1 level. I don’t see Nelson getting the starting job at Rutgers once he sits out the 1 year for transferring.

  • scott

    Don’t forget Edwards at running back to. We do need some receivers though

  • bhug7418

    I love the direction that the Gophers are going in. When I do read about the 3 and 4 star recruits, they are committing to other big ten teams. Should this be a concern? Are the Gophers going to get more of the so-called cream of the crop? When will they start coming to the Gophers? It seems that Coach Kill and his group do much more with much less talent.

    • mahogma

      Glen Mason’s recruiting classes always ranked at or near the bottom of the conference, but the Gophers still managed to get by with the likes of Marony, Marion Barber III, Greg Eslinger, etc. Glen’s biggest fault was never developing a defense to match the offense. Coach Kill seems to share Coach Mason’s ability to develop young talent into quality Big Ten players, and his assistant coaches grasp the need for having a quality defense. It would be nice to land players like Jones from Washburn HS, but with continued success on the field more highly rated players from here and elsewhere will consider Minnesota.

      Personally I feel like recruiting is over-hyped. Brewster had a highly regarded recruiting class his first year at Minnesota, and most of those players never even made it onto campus, much less contribute to the team’s success. Just a few short years ago, CDH HS in St Paul had the top rated recruit in all the land who spurned to local squad for USC, then OSU, then Miami (what happened, Seantrel?) 5 star players make for good ink, but you still have to play the game and continue to develop for those ratings to mean squat.