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Report: Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson to transfer

Philip Nelson was pulled from the Texas Bowl after completing just 2-of-7 passes for 18 yards.Philip Nelson was pulled from the Texas Bowl after completing just 2-of-7 passes for 18 yards. (David J. Phillip/AP)

Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson is leaving the Gophers' football program, Nelson told Dan Barreiro of KFAN radio in Minneapolis on Thursday.

In a statement, Nelson thanked the Minnesota football family for his time with the Gophors but said he was looking for a different playing system.

"I want to thank Coach Kill for the opportunity to play football at the University of Minnesota. I have the utmost respect for Coach Kill and what he's done for this program. I also want to reach out to to all the great Minnesota fans that supported the football program and say thank you. Your effort makes a difference.

"For me, 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 threw for 1,306 yards and nine touchdowns alongside six interceptions in 2013. The Gophers played musical chairs with Nelson and fellow quarterback Mitch Leidner throughout the season despite Nelson handling most of the duties in Minnesota's four-game Big Ten win streak in the second half of the year. But Nelson was pulled early from the Gophers' 21-17 loss to Syracuse in the Texas Bowl after struggling in the game. Leidner came in to throw for 205 yards and two scores.

Nelson's exit now leaves Leidner and redshirt freshman Chris Streveler to compete for the starting job during spring practice..

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