Troy Henderson has traveled over 1,580 miles throughout his collegiate career, spanning three different universities.

For the sixth-year senior, the final stop of his collegiate career will be as a Governor.

Henderson was originally committed to play at Syracuse University as a three-star recruit from Cleveland, Ohio. The linebacker played three seasons as a member of the Orange, earning his bachelor’s degree while appearing in six games.

Following his time at Syracuse, Henderson transferred to Kennesaw State. In limited playing time across 17 games, the former Owl logged 47 total tackles, three of which for loss, and a forced fumble.

Despite being crowned Big South Conference champions in two of the past three seasons, the senior decided to take his talents elsewhere, announcing his decision to join APSU football last week.

Mental and emotional endurance have been vital for the linebacker. Two redshirt seasons and six years of collegiate athletics did not alter Henderson’s hope of playing football at the highest level.

Henderson (39) tackles Florida State running back Dalvin Cook in 2016.
Charles Wainwright SU Athletic Communications

“At the end of the day, I just had a goal set out in the beginning of all of this when I graduated high school: to get to the next level, to impact as many as I can on the college level, be All-conference, win as much as I can, be All-American and get drafted,” Henderson said. “Those goals never wavered or never changed and I never doubted them. I kept that on the forefront of what I look forward to each day and that’s how I go to work, I just know where I want to get to in the end.

“It doesn’t matter how long the route is, as long as I get there,” Henderson said. “Everybody’s route is different, that’s what I like to tell younger guys when they get frustrated or anything, it’s just part of a bigger plan: you’ve got to go through different things in order to get to where you want to in the end.”

Henderson’s determination was rooted long before his time as a collegiate athlete. The senior was never hesitant on making his dreams a reality, however.

“I never had doubts, I always knew the type of player that I was,” he said. “I never had it easy growing up: living in the inner city of Cleveland, I used to take two buses and two trains to school every morning, about an hour and a half every day. Playing freshman junior varsity, not playing varsity as early as I wanted to. I always had a tough road, so nothing really changed my faith or changed my doubts.”

Although the former Owl and Orangeman is unsure of his role going into the upcoming season, Henderson expects his leadership and experience to produce greatness on an individual and organizational level for the Govs in 2020.

“They should expect a guy who is going to play at 130 miles per hour,” the linebacker said. “Going to be a coach on the field, is going to help the younger guys out, going to help the team in any way-special teams, defense, in the classroom, out of the classroom, in the locker room-just a team-oriented, family type of guy that is going to give Austin Peay everything he’s got every play.

“I haven’t really thought about the individual goals, team goals I would just say trying to get back-to-back OVC championships, I know that’s never been done in school history, so that’s an exciting thing to set out and do. Go deeper in the playoffs, go deeper in the quarterfinals, trying to get to that national title. I’m not really looking at individual goals right now, I’m just looking at team goals. With team goals, comes individual success.”