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Michigan State football names captains for highly-anticipated matchup with Michigan

Jayden Reed, Xavier Henderson and others will lead the Spartans this weekend.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Michigan State Dale Young-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State football has announced its captains for this week’s rivalry matchup against No. 4 Michigan. Surprisingly, none of the players are originally from Michigan, however, each player is a great leader for the team.

On offense, MSU will be led by senior wide receiver Jayden Reed. The 2021 American Football Coaches Association first-team All-American has 373 receiving yards this season and three touchdowns. Notably, he was crucial during Michigan State’s 34-28 victory two weeks ago against Wisconsin — in which he had a touchdown, nine receptions and 117 yards.

MSU will also be led by senior center Nick Samac, who has started every game for the Spartans on the offensive line this season.

On defense, Michigan State will be led by both senior safety Xavier Henderson and senior linebacker/edge rusher Jacoby Windmon.

Windmon has certainly earned leadership honors as he has stepped it up in the absence of defensive tackle Jacob Slade, Henderson and others on defense throughout the year. On three occasions this season, Windmon has been named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week — the first Spartan to ever do so. He’s also earned the same honor on a national level twice.

Against Wisconsin, Windmon recorded both a forced fumble and an interception.

Meanwhile, Henderson has only played in two games this season. During the first game against Western Michigan, he suffered a leg injury midway through the second quarter. He returned in MSU’s previous game against Wisconsin where he recorded five tackles and exemplified his leadership.

Michigan State will face Michigan in Ann Arbor on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on ABC. The Spartans have won 10 of the last 14 meetings against the Wolverines, but come into the 2022 matchup as heavy underdogs (+23).