GFL Player Spotlight: Jalyon Henderson’s journey from Boise State to the Potsdam Royals

Quarterback Jaylon Henderson has been tearing the German Football League up for the Potsdam Royals. Having signed for Potsdam back in March, Henderson sent immediate shockwaves across the league; his debut saw him lead the Royals to take down the reigning German Bowl champions, the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, putting up an impressive five-touchdown performance, completing 78.6% of his passing attempts.

So far, his first season has seen the dual-threat quarterback rank top five in passing yards (236.8 yards per game), fifth in passing touchdowns (21), whilst holding the second-from-top spot in completion percentage 70.6% and rushing touchdowns (8). 

Prior to his professional career, the Texas-native had an extremely successful collegiate career at Boise State. He played two seasons as a Bronco, playing in 2019 as a starter. That year saw Henderson rack up over 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns, turning the ball over just twice in his nine appearances. The season would be topped off with a win over Hawaii in the Mountain West Championship. He was awarded Offensive MVP in the game, recording three total touchdowns and over 260 yards from scrimmage.

Following his time at Boise State, Henderson made a quick stop in the Indoor Football League, playing four games for the Vegas Knight Hawks, before making the decision to take his talents to Japan. He then played for the X-League’s Panasonic Impulse in Osaka. He led the side to an undefeated regular season, only losing to the Fujitsu Frontiers in the Rice Bowl Championship game. Henderson went on to secure X1 Super Rookie of the Year.

Jaylon Henderson sat down with us for a quick Q&A on his football journey and his experience playing around the world.

AFI: Firstly, what is your favorite football memory?

Henderson: My favorite football memory was winning the 2019 Mountain West Conference Championship and receiving offensive MVP honors.

AFI: What made you want to play over in Japan after a great college career and a short stop in the Indoor Football League?

Henderson: The decision to play in Japan was a collaborative effort from family and a member of the team I was playing for. We figured it was best for my career at the time to take the opportunity to play for the Impulse.

AFI: Can you talk about the process of going from X-League ROTY to making the decision to go sign for Potsdam in Germany?

Henderson: After receiving interest from several EU teams, it came down to the best opportunity for what was best for myself in furthering my football career. David Saul was great in the recruiting process.

AFI: Whether it’s culture or how the game is played, what are the main differences you’ve noticed about football across the world? 

Henderson: Only having played football in 3 countries the main difference you see is IQ level, talent, and crowd atmosphere. Besides that, it is normal football.

AFI: What goals do you hope to achieve playing in Europe?

Henderson: Become the best teammate I can be, make guys around me better, and bring a German Bowl trophy to the Potsdam Royals.

AFI: Finally, how would you best describe your play style? Is there a player you look up to?

Henderson: A dual-threat that can sit in the pocket and make throws, but can also make off-platform throws when needs be. Field general. I look up to all of my buddies in the NFL. True inspirations.

With four games remaining in the Royals’ season, they rank second in the GFL North and are looking like a top contender, finding themselves second in the AFI Power Rankings. After falling short to the Unicorns in last year’s German Bowl, Potsdam will definitely have their eyes set on silverware as they approach the playoffs.

A current student at Bournemouth University as well as a quarterback with eight years of playing experience. Brad's goal is to be a part of the growth of the game around the world through journalism and media.