Early Sleeper College QB – Philip Nelson, ECU

Author- Bryan Trulen

Phil Nelson, a Fifth Year Senior QB who played for the Minnesota Gophers from 2012-2013 is first in completions and fifth in passing yardage for all of Division 1 through the first four weeks of football as the triggerman for a pass centric high octane East Carolina offense. Nelson is completing nearly 75% of his passes and has thrown 9 Touchdowns with 3 INT thus far.  Nelson 6’2″ 215 brings with him a quick release and a natural inclination be very decisive with the football and the ability to manipulate a defense with pump fakes and his eyes. We take a look at a throw Nelson made from the South Carolina Game.


Here we see ECU in the shotgun with three WR’s to the left of Nelson. South Carolina is showing a two deep coverage with their Inside Linebackers side by side with their SS in man to man coverage. screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-12-26-34-pm

Just before the ball is snapped, East Carolina sends their running back in a Jet motion across the field which is done to open throwing windows for Nelson. screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-12-27-36-pm

Upon receiving the snap, Nelson immediately gives a quick pump fake to the RB running horizontally across the field. This action widens the South Carolina OLB as we will see in the next frame.  The token pump fake by Nelson gives the inside WR for East Carolina just enough leverage get into the vacant area and make himself a viable target for Nelson.screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-12-28-29-pm

Nelson delivers the ball from a clean pocket in a very decisive manner. There is not much room for error as we can see but Nelson has enough confidence in his ability to make “Window” throws to ensure completion. South Carolina is playing Zone Coverage with their LB’s which classifies this as an anticipation throw for Nelson. screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-12-28-43-pm

The ball is in the air with enough arc to get over the South Carolina defenders. This is a very specific of throw that requires touch, a quick release and anticipation as well as accuracy. screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-12-29-02-pm

Nelson places this pass at the face-mask level for his WR making this an easy catch as East Carolina picks up chunk yardage with their passing game deep in South Carolina territory.screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-12-29-09-pm

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