Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.

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Former Gophers QB Philip Nelson heading to Rutgers

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gopher quarterbacks Updated: January 29, 2014 - 3:56 PM

Former Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson is heading to Rutgers, his father, Pat Nelson, said today.

Nelson, who announced he was transferring from Minnesota two weeks ago, took an official visit to Rutgers on Sunday and also was considering Kansas State.

Bruce Feldman, of CBSSports.com, first reported the news.

Pat Nelson said his son also considered Texas Tech, San Jose State and San Diego State.

"Rutgers certainly fit the bill really well for Philip," Pat Nelson said. "And also, Ralph Friedgen -- it looks like he’s going to be coming on board [as offensive coordinator]. He’s in a real good situation there with a mentor who really understands the pro-style offense."

Philip Nelson will need to sit out for one year under NCAA transfer rules, but he'll be able to redshirt and still have two years of eligibility remaining. When an athlete transfers within the Big Ten, he typically loses a year of eligibility, but that rule won't apply to Rutgers until after that school officially joins the conference on July 1.

Nelson will enroll in classes at Rutgers on Friday and will be in spring practice this year.

The Gophers aren't scheduled to play Rutgers until Oct. 22, 2016. That game at TCF Bank Stadium will come during Nelson's senior season.

"Philip wants to make it really clear that he would not trade his two years he had with Coach Kill at Minnesota," Pat Nelson said. "He really likes Coach Kill and is very appreciative of the time he got to spend with him.

"Philip is a very pointed individual, and he understands where he wants to go and how to go about it. And I give him a lot of credit for basically being able to take a chance and go out there and be able to find the correct opportunities for him."

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