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Rutgers QB facing felony assault charges

(SportsNetwork.com) - Rutgers quarterback Philip Nelson is facing two felony assault charges following an incident over the weekend in which the Minnesota transfer allegedly kicked an unconscious man in the head, leaving him in critical condition.

Nelson has been charged with first-degree assault causing great bodily harm and third-degree assault causing substantial bodily harm, according to a criminal complaint obtained and posted online by NJ.com.

According to the website, police say Nelson, 20, was upset over a bouncer flirting with his girlfriend at a bar in downtown Mankato, Minnesota.

The men had a "heated" verbal exchange outside the bar and the bouncer, identified as former Minnesota State-Mankato football player Isaac Kolstad, hit Nelson in the back with a punch, forcing the quarterback to the ground, according to an officer who viewed surveillance footage of the incident.

After an unidentified male ran after Kolstad and punched him in the head/face, Kolstad fell back and hit his head on the pavement. Nelson then allegedly kicked Kolstad in the left side of the head.

Nelson was arrested later. Police said an officer on the scene observed Nelson with bloodshot eyes and smelled an odor of alcohol on his breath. Nelson was asked if he remembered kicking Kolstad in the head and he said no.

Kolstad, 24, was in critical condition at the Mayo Clinic Health System and "fighting for his life," according to a post on CaringBridge.com written by his father, NJ.com reported.

Rutgers said it was gathering information about the incident and wouldn't comment "until the legal process is complete."

Nelson passed for 2,179 yards and 17 touchdowns in 18 games for Minnesota over past two seasons and transferred to Rutgers in January.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound sophomore would have to sit out a year before playing for Rutgers due to transfer rules.

05/12 18:36:32 ET

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