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University of Minnesota QB Nelson transfers to Rutgers

Quarterback Philip Nelson is transferring from Minnesota to first-year Big Ten member Rutgers, saying he wants to play in a more pass-friendly offense.

Nelson, a redshirt sophomore last season, shared the quarterbacking duties during Minnesota's 8-5 season in 2013 with freshman Mitch Leidner, who is more of a dual threat as a runner and passer.

Nelson met with Minnesota coach Jerry Kill on Wednesday to give him the news, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.

"I have the utmost respect for Coach Kill and what he's done for this program," Nelson said. "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."

Nelson started 16 games the past two seasons for the Gophers. He passed for 2,179 yards and 17 touchdowns and ran for 548 yards and six touchdowns.

"Philip is a terrific young man, and I wish him all the best as he continues his education and football career elsewhere," Kill said in a statement. "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."

Rutgers recently hired former Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen as its offensive coordinator.

NCAA transfer rules require Nelson to sit out the 2014 season.