Michigan State football announced its weekly captains on Wednesday for the Spartans’ road matchup against the Purdue Boilermakers. This week, it’s senior safety Xavier Henderson, junior offensive lineman J.D. Duplain and graduate senior tackle AJ Arcuri.
No surprise this week with Xavier Henderson. Henderson has found his way to being a captain every week so far and is likely a “true captain” for the team. Henderson has really stepped up as a leader for the defense and the team as a whole, especially in the last few weeks.
The other two come as a bit more of a surprise. The Spartans have had linemen serve as captains before, but this is the first time for both Duplain and Arcuri. Both, however, have become big leaders on the offensive line this season. Arcuri returned to the Spartans for a sixth year in 2021 and played in 27 career games prior to this season with 12 starts at left tackle. That makes him one of the Spartans’ most experienced players this year, and it’s clear head coach Mel Tucker has valued his leadership potential.
Duplain is in his junior season in 2021 and came into this year with 10 starts at left guard in 17 games. His experience has really helped the Spartans out on offense as well and helped progress the offensive line play this season, which in turn has helped elevate Michigan State’s offense — especially in the ground game — to a new level in 2021.
These three leaders are going to be paramount in the Spartans’ trip to West Lafayette this Saturday. Purdue has been known to upset some really great teams in the past, and coming off a big win against Michigan, it’s important for Michigan State to keep its focus on the road if they’d like to keep winning games. All three captains this week have been on the wrong end of some disappointing losses before, and I would bet they’re going to do everything they can to prevent that from happening on Saturday.