Hartman: Nelson didn't like Wisconsin coaching situation

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 29, 2012 - 11:40 AM

The quarterback sensed a staff in transition, a big reason why he chose to play for the Gophers and Jerry Kill instead.

hide

Gophers football coach Jerry Kill congratulated quarterback Philip Nelson at the end of Minnesota's 44-28 victory over Purdue on Saturday.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Freshman quarterback Philip Nelson said one of the reasons he enrolled at Minnesota rather than at Wisconsin is that he didn't believe the Badgers wanted him that badly.

Asked to explain his decision further, Nelson -- whose father, Pat, played for the Badgers and who grew up in the Madison area before moving to Mankato -- said: "Throughout the recruiting process, I think one of the things that I learned right away is that you can't really have favorites right off the bat. I think right away when I took a couple of visits to Wisconsin I realized that, 'Hey, maybe these guys don't really want me that much.'

"Plus on top of that, one of the biggest things I saw from that coaching staff was that [offensive coordinator] Paul Chryst and [offensive line coach] Bob Bostad, both of those guys after every single season were taking interviews and trying to get different jobs, and my dad, back in the day, he went through a coaching change between his sophomore and junior year and he got benched from the coaching change. He said it was one of the toughest things for a program, to go through a coaching change -- especially when it's kind of unfair like that."

Nelson said his dad told him that kind of situation was definitely a possibility at Wisconsin. Chryst left Bret Bielema's staff to become the head coach at Pittsburgh this year, and Bostad is now in the NFL as offensive line coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"Right away, Bostad and Chryst are gone and six out of their nine coaches from 2010 are gone. I think that was something that I definitely wanted to avoid," Nelson said.

"That's why I was so excited to be with the Gophers, because this coaching staff, they have been together for such a long time and that shows a lot of stability within the program. I think that's what really drew my attention here.

"You know, I firmly believe that my best fit was here with the Gophers. I'm very happy with my decision and I wouldn't change it all."

No redshirt problem

Nelson, who enrolled in school in January to take advantage of spring practice, said he didn't have any problem redshirting this year and keeping his four years of eligibility. But leading up to the Oct. 20 game at Wisconsin, with MarQueis Gray and Max Shortell hurting, he said he kind of expected his redshirt status to end.

"Throughout the whole week I was taking first-team reps, but they officially told me Friday and I was expecting it and I was ready to go," Nelson said.

Was he nervous when he got first home start Saturday against Purdue?

"To be honest with you, probably about the same [as Wisconsin]," he said. "Before every single game, I think every player gets a little bit nervous. I try to treat every single game just like another football game and not try to hype it up too big or anything like that. I just try to play football just like how I always do."

But he said after the first drive, his nervousness went away.

"Once you realize it's just another football game, you start to calm down a little bit more," he said. "But right away the nerves came out right after that drive and we were able to get right back on track after that and create a drive and get down the field and score."

With Nelson at quarterback, the Gophers must have set some type of record when they scored on seven possessions in a row. The Gophers ran 20 plays during that period and totaled 276 yards to build a 28-7 lead in just 19 minutes. And this same Gophers team had scored a total of 39 points in its previous three games.

Asked about his relationship with Gray, Nelson had nothing but praise for the senior.

"MarQueis is just such a great guy, great team player, that whatever the coaches ask him to do, he'll do it," Nelson said. "He'd die for his teammates. He puts his team first and his family first and that's the type of guy he is. He's really going to be successful someday. He's already proved that he can generate a lot of success. But I feel like his future is really bright and he's such a great guy, and I have a lot of respect for him."

Praises Carter

Gophers coach Jerry Kill said he has never seen a performance by a cornerback like the one Saturday by Michael Carter. The senior from Pompano Beach, Fla., tied a school record when he had six pass breakups (Michael Lehan set the mark in 2001 against Michigan State), and he also returned an interception for a touchdown. Carter had three pass breakups in a row early in the second half, returning the third 43 yards for a score.

"I've been coaching for 30 years and he certainly had a corner sequence of plays, three straight plays, that you won't see a corner get the chance to do very often," Kill said. "They were three great plays and then he returns one for a touchdown. I'm happy for him."

At one time, Carter was almost not a member of the team because of some academic problems.

"A lot of people have helped that young man, but the most important person that has helped him is he's helped himself. He's matured," ill said.

"[Michael's cousin and former Gophers All-America safety] Tyrone [Carter] has been a part of that. Some old tough love from Coach Kill has been a part of that, but it has certainly paid off in this past year. That just tells you how kids get when they get older. You look at our football team and we have a lot of young people that have to mature. Once we get them matured, I think we can have a pretty good football team and program."

Bad injury

The Gophers will likely miss A.J. Barker, their best wide receiver, this week against Michigan.

Kill reported that Barker, who caught five passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns against the Boilermakers, got hurt on the 63-yard deep ball while running into the end zone. Barker got hit late in the end zone, which is unfortunate.

According to Kill, the injury is a pretty significant ankle sprain. A defensive player rolled on top of Barker.

"Hopefully he can recover because he's had a really good year for us," Kill said.

Michigan QB hurt

Denard Robinson, the great Michigan quarterback who can scramble with the best of them and is an outstanding passer as well, aggravated a nerve injury in his arm late in the first half of the Wolverines' 23-9 loss at Nebraska and is doubtful for the Gophers on Saturday.

Robinson, who is 23-11 over the past three seasons with Michigan, has rushed for 1,015 yards this season and thrown for 1,319.

Robinson's backup, Russell Bellomy, a redshirt freshman, went 3-for-16 for 38 yards with three interceptions Saturday.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco 7 Top 8th Inning
Kansas City 1
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 85 FINAL
Miami 90
Indiana 89 FINAL
Minnesota 107
Utah 105 FINAL
Oklahoma City 91
Portland 83 4th Qtr 5:11
Denver 68
Phoenix 48 2nd Qtr 0:02
LA Lakers 47
LA Clippers 18 1st Qtr 3:44
Golden State 18
San Jose 3 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Rangers 4 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 3
Toronto 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 2
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
Carolina 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
Philadelphia 0 3rd Prd 2:48
Chicago 4
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Dallas 6
Florida 3 3rd Prd 17:44
Colorado 3
Tampa Bay 0 3rd Prd 10:53
Calgary 1
Arkansas State 23 4th Qtr
Louisiana 41
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close