Michigan State’s fifth-year senior safety Xavier Henderson was one of 42 players named to the 2022 preseason watch list for the Lott Trophy.
Named after former NFL Hall of Fame star Ronnie Lott, the Lott Trophy is awarded annually to the IMPACT Defensive Player of the Year, a player who has had the greatest impact on his team on and in outside the field. IMPACT stands for integrity, maturity, performance, academy, community and tenacity, all characteristics exhibited by Lott during his illustrious playing career.
The annual winner is selected by a national panel of voters, made up of past winners, members of the media, coaches and members of the IMPACT Foundation Board of Directors.
The Lott IMPACT Trophy is the only college football major award that considers character.
Scroll to continue
Given those parameters, it’s not hard to see why Henderson made this preseason watchlist. The senior was the only Spartans to captain all 13 games last season and was the undeniable leader of Michigan State‘s defense in 2021.
Henderson set a career high for tackles last season with 96, which tied for the team lead. He added one interception, one forced fumble and three pass breakups for the Spartans. Henderson was named a third-team All-Big Ten by conference media and was an honorable mention selection by Big Ten coaches.
Although Henderson is already a four-year winner at Michigan State, he took advantage of the COVID-19 waiver to return for a fifth season at East Lansing.
In 46 career games, including 33 consecutive safe starts, Henderson has totaled 235 tackles, including 13.5 for losses and three sacks. He added three interceptions, eight pass breakups and two forced fumbles to his career totals.