Philip Nelson to Transfer from Minnesota
Philip Nelson has announced his intention to transfer from Minnesota. Despite starting nine games and appearing in eleven for the team, there could be some doubt about whether he could hold off sophomore-to-be Mitch Leidner for the starting quarterback job. The team was only 5-4 in Nelson's starts, but that's a bit misleading. Nelson came in to deliver victories over Northwestern and Nebraska.
On paper, Leidner had better stats both running and passing. Leidner is also bigger physically than Nelson (both taller and heavier). Leidner's announcement might be a bit of a face-saving one. He claimed he was seeking an offense that emphasized the pass. Without his running ability however, he's not a very dangerous quarterback. Clearly it was his legs that were the difference against the Huskers.
The best wins for Minnesota all came with Nelson behind center. From a depth perspective the team would certainly be better served with him staying around. From a chemistry and confidence perspective though, Leidner (and perhaps the whole team) could benefit from some clarity about who their quarterback will be. Leidner won't be looking over his shoulder.
When your only true victory as a starter came against San Jose State, it's fair to say that Leidner is still very much unproven at this point. Nelson's departure coupled with that of star defensive tackle