Ex-Gophers QB Philip Nelson to stay in Big Ten?

Ex-Gophers QB Philip Nelson to stay in Big Ten?
January 26, 2014, 7:00 pm
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Vinnie Duber

Philip Nelson is transferring from Minnesota, but that doesn't necessarily mean the quarterback is leaving the Big Ten.

According to a Saturday report from the Star-Tribune, Nelson was slated to make an official visit to Rutgers on Sunday and has an offer to play for the Scarlet Knights.

It was announced Nelson was transferring earlier this month, with the quarterback expressing his desire to play in a more passing-friendly system than the one Jerry Kill is running at Minnesota. The Gophers had one of the best seasons in school history in 2013, with Nelson helping to lead the team to eight wins. But rarely did those wins come because of any passing fireworks, as the Gophers had one of the better rushing attacks in the Big Ten and a rushing attack they relied on heavily.

[MORE: Philip Nelson's transfer shines light on Gophers' direction]

Rutgers, which will join the Big Ten in July, would make an instant splash with the addition of Nelson, if things were to get that far. The Scarlet Knights finished 2013 with a 6-7 record, capped by a Pinstripe Bowl loss to Notre Dame. Rutgers ranked seventh out of 10 teams in the American Athletic Conference in passing yardage, with 235.6 yards per game, a number that would have ranked fifth in the Big Ten this past season. Starting quarterback Gary Nova will be a senior for the 2014 season. 2013 was Nelson's sophomore season with the Gophers.

Nelson to Rutgers is certainly not a done deal — a Pioneer Press report from earlier in the month listed Texas Tech as a "front-runner" to land the QB — but it adds an interesting element with the Scarlet Knights becoming a conferencemate of the Gophers beginning next season.