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The Sports Xchange, Published January 16 2014

QB Nelson will transfer from Minnesota

Quarterback Philip Nelson, who started nine games for the University of Minnesota last season, plans to transfer, he announced Thursday.

Nelson led the Gophers in total offense (1,306 passing yards, 364 rushing yards) last season while sharing the quarterback position with freshman Mitch Leidner.

In a statement given to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Nelson said, "I have the utmost respect for Coach (Jerry) Kill and what he's done for this program. I also want to reach out to all the great Minnesota fans that supported the football program and say thank you. Your effort makes a difference. I am looking to play in a system that centers more around the pass game which utilizes my skill sets. I am excited to go out and meet with programs that match up with my talents."

Nelson's father, Pat, told the Star-Tribune that his son is looking to transfer outside of the Big Ten, and Philip Nelson hopes to be enrolled in his new school in time for spring football.

Kill said in a statement posted on the Gophers' Twitter account, "Philip is a terrific young man. I wish him all the best as he continues his education and football career elsewhere. I want to thank Philip for the contributions he made to our football program both on and off the field. And I will do anything I can to help him both now and in the future."

Nelson completed 50.5 percent of his passes last season, throwing nine touchdown passes and six interceptions. However, Leidner played the majority of the Gophers' 21-17 loss to Syracuse in the Texas Bowl at Houston on Dec. 27.

Leidner finished the season with a 55.1 percent completion rate for 619 yards with three touchdown passes and one interception. He also ran 102 times for 407 yards and seven interceptions.

As a freshman in 2012, Nelson made seven starts, completing 49.3 percent of his passes for 873 yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions.