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 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.
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.