The 5-0 and No. 11-ranked Michigan State Spartans have announced weekly captains for Saturday’s Big Ten matchup against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights: senior safety Xavier Henderson, junior running back Kenneth Walker III, redshirt junior wide receiver Jalen Nailor and graduate senior offensive lineman Luke Campbell.
While head coach Mel Tucker likes to rotate weekly captains, I think it’s safe to pencil Henderson in as a permanent captain. He has been voted a team captain for each of the six weeks throughout the regular season thus far. He leads the Spartans this season with 45 total tackles, and has also recorded five tackles for loss, two sacks and one interception.
This is the first week that Walker has been voted a team captain, and while he is a humble and soft-spoken guy, his play on the field has certainly earned him this role. Walker leads the FBS with 680 rushing yards and 136 rushing yards per game. He rushed 24 times for 126 yards and three touchdowns against Western Kentucky in last week’s game.
This is the second time this season that Nailor has earned the honor, as he opened the year as one of three team captains against Northwestern. Nailor had a bit of a quiet start to his season before busting loose against Western Kentucky this past Saturday night with eight catches for 128 yards. So far in 2021, Nailor has recorded 18 catches for 269 yards (14.94 yards per catch) and three receiving touchdowns.
Campbell, now in his sixth year with the program, has been named team captain for the first time in 2021. While Campbell does not start on the offensive line, he has played a heavy rotational role and made an impact. He offers the Spartans a lot of versatility at either tackle spot, and he has also played guard throughout his career as well.