Former University of Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson, who recently transferred to Rutgers, was arrested early Sunday morning in Mankato, Minn. for allegedly assaulting former Minnesota State linebacker Isaac Kolstad. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Kolstad, 24, was found unconscious “after being kicked twice in the head.”
Nelson, 20, is facing third-degree assault and underage consumption charges, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and police are looking for a second man who they believe was involved in the incident.
As of Sunday evening, Kolstad, who graduated from Minnesota State in December, was hospitalized at Mayo Clinic Health System-Mankato and is in critical condition.
On Sunday night, Kolstad’s father, Blaine, posted on CaringBridge.org that his son’s brain sustained “permanent damage” and that he is “fighting for his life.”
“Isaac suffered a severe head injury early this morning. He is currently in critical condition and fighting for his life. He is young and strong, but the battle he has in front of him is enormous. He had one surgery today to put a pressure gauge in his skull. He may need additional surgeries in the coming days. We do know that his brain did sustain permanent damage. We do not yet know to what extent and won’t for many days. He is very sick. Please pray for Isaac and all of those involved.”
Nelson, a native of Mankato, transferred to Rutgers in January after two seasons at Minnesota. He started 16 games in two seasons for the Gophers but decided to transfer to play in a more pass-oriented system. After sitting out the 2014 season due to NCAA transfer rules, Nelson was expected to be a serious contender to start for the Scarlet Knights in 2015.
Per the Star-Tribune, Nelson attended Mankato West High School and Kolstad attended Mankato East and it is unclear if the two knew each other.
Minnesota officials declined to comment but Rutgers issued a statement saying, “We are in the process of gathering information on the situation and reserve comment until the legal process is complete.”
Audio of the police scanner from the incident is can be heard here.
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