A number of years ago, the Minnesota Twins ran a great advertising campaign centered on the phrase 'Get to know 'em'. Today I finish up my two part story on Minnesota recruit and Mankato West star Philip Nelson. Last week MinnesotaPreps did a story centered on his preparation for his senior year for the Scarlets. Today we pick the quarterback's brain about his future Gopher career. Nelson, who committed to the Gophers in February, has been active on campus and getting to know the coaching staff. Like Twins fans of a few years ago, the coaches are getting to know Nelson as well.
"I made it up to about five spring practices and the big spring game," said Nelson. "I was up there quite a bit actually."
Nelson came away from his observations of spring practice impressed.
"It was pretty amazing. I had never seen a practice that fast paced," said the 6'2" 212 pound junior. (Head coach Jerry) Kill has them working hard. I am really excited to be a part of it. It is a really good situation. From what I hear from some of the staff that were there (last year) they say practice is much more fast paced. The players are working harder this spring. It really looks like it was coming along from day one to day fifteen."
In between trips up to Minneapolis, Nelson, who led his team to an undefeated regular season and a berth in the state AAAA quarter finals, has plenty of contact with his future coaching staff.
"Coach (Jim) Zebrowski and I talk on the phone once a week at least," said Nelson.
Right now the conversations with Zebrowski who is the Gopher's quarterback coach are more of a get to know each other type of thing. Nelson said they will talk in general terms about what is going on in Mankato and on the Twin Cities campus.
This summer Nelson plans on getting to a number of Gopher run camps to not only improve his skills, but also to get as much face time with his future coaches as possible.
"I plan on going up there a lot this summer and watching film with Coach Zebrowski and just getting to know each other a little more."
He is going to attend the Gopher quarterback camp and even the big man camp.
"(The big man camp) is still considered a camp and I can still go there. It will give us a chance to work one on one and stuff."
There isn't anything specific he wants to get out of his time with the Gopher coaches. Like he is with any instruction he gets - be it from the Mankato West staff, an outside quarterback camp or the Minnesota staff - Nelson just wants to soak it all in.
Committing so early has given Nelson and his future coaches plenty of time to get a feel for each other before he officially suits up over a year from now. The long 'get to know you' time - especially with a new coaching staff - will only help Nelson's development during his senior football season and his time with the Gophers.