Kyle Henderson: Get to Know Your Gophers

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In this installment of "Get to Know Your Gophers" with KFAN's Justin Gaard, the Gopher Radio Network sideline reporter sits down with Gopher football defensive back Kyle Henderson to compare Minnesota rivalry trophies, DII versus DI football and more.

Justin Gaard: Kyle, tell us a little about your journey. You started down in Mankato now here you are, you go from Boom-town to Dinkytown, how did that happen?

Kyle Henderson: You know, it's a long story but I'll make it short. I love Mankato and I really do appreciate the coaches there, but I just decided that I wanted to come back home and be a gopher. I'm from here, in Minneapolis, and it is always something I wanted to do, so I decided to take a risk, and I think it worked out in my favor.

Justin Gaard: Is there a bigger rivalry between Minnesota State Mankato and Minnesota-Duluth or Minnesota and Iowa?

Kyle Henderson: Oh it's a bigger rivalry between Minnesota and Iowa. I would have to say the Minnesota state rivalry would be St. Cloud, that's definitely their Wisconsin or Iowa you could say. They have the Travelling Toolkit as their trophy and that's a pretty big thing over there. We took that very serious when we played them (St. Cloud).

Justin Gaard: From going to a toolkit to a pig, an axe, and a jug, you probably made the right call, right?

Kyle Henderson: I am not going to try to diminish my old trophy by any means. You guys definitely have to keep that toolkit, for the Mavericks. It is really just a bigger stage. The axe and the pig, the Floyd, are very old traditional trophies that not very many guys get to say they can touch. We have the axe coming up; I've never been able to hold that, so that would be a great honor if I could. It's definitely just a bigger stage and effects more people, so it's a little bit nicer over here.

Justin Gaard: Talk about being on the field on Saturday when you guys know you're going to win. You've got Floyd of Rosedale right behind the bench, talk about that moment a little bit for us.

Kyle Henderson: That was a really great moment. You can't trade those moments for anything: the experience, the fans which stay by our side the whole game, and that really showed in the last few quarters of the game. But once we knew that we had won and we didn't have to go back into the locker room feeling like someone could have done something differently and just questioning ourselves, we actually got this win and it was a good win. I think it just felt great honestly. I felt great for me and felt great for my teammates. Hopefully we can carry that over to this next week.

Justin Gaard: And this next week we got Michigan State. I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I am going to bring a toolbox to East Lansing with me, if you guys get the win over the Spartans, I will give you the toolbox, deal?

Kyle Henderson: Deal. Make sure that it is maroon and gold for sure.

Justin Gaard: I think we can take care of that. Thanks to Kyle Henderson, senior defensive back. You can watch him this Saturday against Michigan State. Thanks for checking out the latest edition of Get to Know Your Gophers here on

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