Phillip Nelson

Victim in alleged assault by ex-Rutgers QB making good progress in recovery

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Some good news to start your week: Isaac Kolstad, who was allegedly assaulted by then-Rutgers quarterback Phillip Nelson in May, continues to make encouraging progress in his rehabilitation from injuries that nearly left him for dead.

Kolstad, who was in a coma following a brutal beating in which Nelson allegedly kicked him in the head, has walked 1,000 feet and has re-gained strength and use of his left arm and left leg. While the 24-year-old former Division II football player still has a long recovery ahead of him, his progress is encouraging given he had to have some of his brain removed in mid-May.

Nelson transferred from Minnesota to Rutgers in January but was swiftly booted from the Scarlet Knights following the assault allegations and faces first- and third-degree assault charges.

Kolstad’s wife gave birth to the couple’s second child in early June, and despite his condition he’s been able to bond with his newborn daughter.


“It continues to amaze us the connection he has made with her through this ordeal,” Molly Kolstad wrote. “He truly, truly knows he is a daddy and we see this all the time with his interactions with the girls. When I get to the hospital, he gives me a smile then reaches to hold Malia. When Malia cries he is the first to reach out and want to hold her and comfort her.”

Kolstad still has a difficult, lengthy recovery process ahead of him but that he’s already this strong only two months after the alleged assault is really, really encouraging.

Photo credit: Isaac Kolstad’s page

Report: LSU QB Hayden Rettig will visit Rutgers


Rutgers has a bit of a need for some quarterback depth heading into the 2014 season. Perhaps one option to fill a spot on the roster could be a transfer from the SEC.

According to Greg Biggins of, LSU transfer quarterback Hayden Rettig will make a visit to Rutgers this week (Tuesday). It was reported earlier this month Rettig informed LSU of his intention to transfer. He is the second quarterback to transfer out of LSU this offseason, joining Stephen Rivers. Rivers transferred to Vanderbilt. There has been no confirmed reason for Rettig’s decision to transfer, but as previously noted, the depth chart issue could have been a significant influence.

Which is why Rutgers would make some sense for Rettig. Rutgers recently dismissed quarterback Phillip Nelson, who had transferred from Minnesota. Nelson was booted from the program after being charged for assault in Minnesota in a disturbing incident.

Rutgers returns Gary Nova after starting at quarterback last season, but the Scarlet Knights are in need of stability under center. Of course, if Rettig does transfer to Rutgers he would have to sit out one year due to standard NCAA transfer rules. That would make him eligible in 2015.

Boston College was also considered to be a potential option for Rettig’s services.

Phillip Nelson’s alleged attack accomplice expected to be charged


Former Minnesota quarterback Phillip Nelson was charged with one count of first-degree assault and another for third-degree assault on a former division two football player currently battling for his life. Nelson was not alone in the attack of Isaac Kolstad in Minnesota though, and police are expected to charge the second man involved in the vicious act.

According to the Associated Press, police in Mankato, Minnesota arrested a 21-year old man not long after security video capturing the act had been released. The AP reports charges are expected to be made Wednesday. The extent of those charges is not known at this time. As previously reported, Nelson was witnessed kicking Kolstad in the head after being knocked down by the unidentified attacker. Nelson’s attorneys have said Nelson was not the aggressor in the incident. Kolstad has been hospitalized and has been listed in critical condition with doctors not optimistic about his chances for survival.

Nelson left the Minnesota program in January to transfer to Rutgers. In light of this recent incident, Rutgers dismissed Nelson from the program.

Rutgers transfer QB Phillip Nelson receives assault charges


Rutgers quarterback Phillip Nelson was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of assault. On Monday police in Minnesota charged Nelson with one count of first-degree assault and another for third-degree assault. Nelson allegedly kicked a former D2 football player, Isaac Kolstad, in the head during an altercation in Mankato, Minnesota. Kolstad is reportedly in critical condition. Multiple reports say doctors are unsure Kolstad will survive the attack.

Kolstad played linebacker for Minnesota State-Mankato. According t police reports, Kolstad was punched and knocked to the ground by another unidentified suspect, who remains at large. Nelson allegedly kicked Kolstad in the head. There is no motive known publicly at this time.

Nelson transferred from Minnesota to Rutgers in January. NCAA transfer rules require Nelson to sit out the 2014 football season. For now, football eligibility is the least important part of the story.

Report: Rutgers QB Nelson arrested on suspicion of assault leaving D2 football player in critical condition


A new week, a new bit of unfortunate news related to Rutgers. New Rutgers quarterback Phillip Nelson was arrested early Sunday morning in Minnesota for suspicion of third-degree assault and underage drinking, according to a report by Pioneer Press.

Nelson was arrested in Mankato for an incident that left a 24-year old man listed in critical condition at a clinic in Mankato. The victim of the alleged assault is Isaac Kolstad, a linebacker for Division 2 Minnesota State-Mankato. Nelson was arrested on the scene for probable cause. As reported by KSTP, assault in Minnesota is considered a felony.

Nelson transferred to Rutgers from Minnesota in January and will have to sit out the upcoming season regardless of what happens with the legal process. NCAA rules require him to sit out as a transfer. Rutgers will join the Big Ten this season.