Manchester University
Oak Leaves

November 8, 2019

Senior Spotlight: Record Breaking Running Back, Art Major Donavan Henderson

Mackenzie Kopplin


Donavan “Dub” Henderson keeps to himself and is a man of very few words until he gets on a football field. Then he is a force to be reckoned with. Off the field, Henderson majors in art and is constantly on a path for success.

Football has always been Henderson’s passion. Since a young age he has dreamed of continuing his football career for the rest of his life. His career so far has been nothing short of astounding: Henderson has already broken three records this season and is close to breaking a fourth, which he already holds.
The records that Henderson has broken so far are most touchdowns in a single game (5 TD’s), most touchdowns in a career (44 TD’s and counting), and most rushing yards in a career (3,359 yards and counting).

He currently holds the record for rushing yards in a single season with 1,268 yards which he claimed during the 2018 season. So far this season Henderson has 1,099 rushing yards. With several games left in the season both head coach Nate Jensen and Henderson are optimistic that this season’s numbers will top last season’s and a fourth record will be broken this year.

Looking at the records that Henderson broke this season, his most impressive accomplishment is his career rushing yards. It’s not every day that a running back runs over 3,000 yards in a little over three years of consistent playing time in Division III athletics.

"It felt good,” stated Henderson after learning he broke the record during the game against Franklin. “It was a big accomplishment that I knew was coming, but I wasn’t sure when it was going to happen.”
Coach Jensen wasn’t sure either. “I didn’t know which run he broke it on until after the game,” he said.

Most athletes are aware that when you’re in the zone the statistics don’t matter. The only thing that matters is competition at hand. “After the game I congratulated him and told him I was proud, maybe not in all those words,” Jensen said.

Jensen has a long, mutually rewarding history with Henderson. “It has been an honor to work with Dub over the last four years,” he said. “He has grown so much as a person, student and athlete. He has really taken on a leadership role and a mentor role for the younger guys.”

Henderson stepped up to the plate this year and took on a captain’s role. “It’s been different because I was always one of the young guys and now, they all look up to me and I feel important,” Henderson said.
“Dub is a quiet guy who just goes about his job,” Jensen said. “He has continued to grow into a mentor especially for the younger guys on our team. I think whatever Dub wants to do after college he will be great. I have even heard a rumor he wants to coach, so if he wants to do that, he will be a really good one.”

Henderson plans to finish his career at Manchester and graduate with his Bachelor’s in Art and then he hopes to continue his football career, whether that be in the NFL or the CFL. He also confirmed that he would be willing to coach one day, but not immediately after graduation unless a great opportunity appears. He is unsure what he would like to do with his art degree, but continuing to play football is currently his main goal.