Former Gopher QB charged in Mankato assault; released on bail


Former University of Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson has been charged with assaulting a former Minnesota State University, Mankato football player.

Officials announced in a news conference Monday that Nelson, 20, had been charged in Blue Earth District Court with first- and third-degree assault.

Police found the victim, 24-year-old Isaac Kolstad, early Sunday morning in downtown Mankato. He was listed in critical condition Monday, WCCO reports.

Authorities say Kolstad suffered head injuries including a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain, FOX 9 says. Kolstad's skull fracture is on the left side of his head, the same area where police say Nelson kicked him, according to the criminal complaint.

Nelson's parents looked on as he was led into court in handcuffs with his feet shackled, the Star Tribune reports.

He posted a $20,000 bond Monday evening and left the Blue Earth County jail with a towel over his head, KSTP reports.

In a post on his CaringBridge page, his family said he is fighting for his life. Kolstad had surgery on Sunday to put a pressure gauge in his skull and may need additional surgeries in the coming days.

The Kolstad family also issued a statement thanking well-wishers for the support they've offered over the last few days.

Doctors initially told police they weren't sure if Kolstad would survive, according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint says Nelson had been upset that evening after a bouncer at a bar flirted with his girlfriend, kissing her on the hand. Things then deteriorated when he ran into Kolstad, who, according to the complaint, threw the initial punch.

Police are asking for the public's help to identify a second suspect in the incident. According to a release on the city's website, the man is in his 20s, and he was wearing a red t-shirt and jeans during the incident. He's seen here in a screen grab from a surveillance video.

The police are also looking for the the driver and passengers of a white vehicle that had stopped near the scene of the incident. Police are hoping to speak with them about what happened. Anyone with information about the assault is asked to call 911.

Kolstad, who is newly married and has a daughter, was a safety on the North Dakota State football team in 2008 and 2009 before transferring to MSU. He played on the Mavericks football team for three seasons, and graduated in December 2013 with a B.S. in management from the school’s College of Business, according to the Pioneer Press.

Both Kolstad and Nelson are from Mankato. Nelson played high school football at Mankato West, while Kolstad played at Mankato East, according to reports. It’s unclear if the two knew each other, the Star Tribune says.

In January, Nelson announced that he was transferring to Rutgers University after playing two seasons with the Gophers. Nelson started 16 games with Minnesota, throwing for 2,179 yards and 17 touchdowns, while rushing for 548 yards and another six touchdowns.

The Gophers declined to comment on the incident and Rutgers issued a statement saying it is in the process of gathering information about the incident, ESPN reports.


Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 9.55.05 PM

Small plane lands on northbound I-35W in Twin Cities

A large police presence is at the scene.


Judge orders Minnesota gym that defied shutdown to close

Attorney General Keith Ellison sued the gym after it remained open.

montana cutbank

Charges: Man shot victim 'without provocation' using sawed-off shotgun

The incident happened on Nov. 24 in Ten Lake Township, located in Beltrami County.

Governor Tim Walz

Watch live: Walz, first responders address Minnesotans

Some departments have been forced to shift staffing or suspend service due to COVID-19.

covid-19, coronavirus

CDC says COVID-19 quarantine period can be cut to 10 or 7 days

You can come out of a 7-day quarantine following exposure provided you've had a negative test.

maple grove fire

1 person found dead inside Maple Grove business that burned down

A person had been unaccounted following the fire that destroyed Hanson Implement and Storage Tuesday night.

One-dollar bill, cash, money

Appeals court rules MN high school students can get unemployment benefits

They've been denied the benefits, and some were even asked to pay them back.

covid-19, coronavirus

Dec. 2 COVID-19 update: 77 more deaths in Minnesota

The death toll is closing in on 3,700 in Minnesota.

City Pages

Fan creates City Pages archive, Star Tribune tells him to remove it

After word spread that the defunct newspaper's website would go down, a fan created his own copy. Then he got a cease and desist letter.

Adam Thielen

Vikings activate Adam Thielen off COVID-19/reserve list

The star receiver missed last week's victory over Carolina.

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 10.27.14 AM

Naked man shot by St. Paul cop is charged for sexual assault of ex-girlfriend

The 31-year-old suspect remains at Regions Hospital after being shot.