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Player Spotlight - Malcolm May

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Player Spotlight - Malcolm May

Alexis Arra photo.

Back from illness, Malcolm May has become the undisputed leader of probably the best college rugby team playing this fall.

The All American flanker said he is just happy to be playing, but added that he wants to do more.

“I’ve been getting more experience through my time at Penn State,” said the former St. Ignatius (Chicago) HS star and HS All American. “I have definitely become a better leader since I got here. Now that I’m captain, I am making more decisions - what to do on penalties, the lineouts, and staying mentally in tune with what’s going on. I am learing more about the game, and I think that shows in my decision-making.”

Having dealt with past injury and then having mononucleosis this year, May said he was forced to watch games and practices, and study from the sideline. 

“It definitely game me a new perspective,” he told Goff Rugby Report. “When you play in a game, you don’t see everything. Now I see more, see what’s happening as the breakdown. It’s taught me a lot.”

Combine that with some serious athletic ability and you’ve got a player on the rise. For May, though, it’s the team that’s moving up.

“We’re in the best position we’ve been in for a while,” he said. “We’re complete from top to bottom. We’re all on the same page and playing less as individuals. We’ve played in big games before and we’ve won some and lost some. We lost to Dartmouth last year [in the Varsity Cup] but that was a good education for us. It was a winnable game and we figured out a lot. We know we might make mistakes, but we can’t make the same mistakes twice.”

May is a senior but the Rehabilitation and Human Services major will be back for a 5th year at Penn State. At Saint Ignatius he was a star player on a team that didn’t dominate, but May said his coach there, Martin Perry, helped make him the player he is today, and hopes to become.

“He worked with me to develop the basic skills,” said May. “My freshman year [in high school] I played football and was bored and restless after the season was over. Somebody suggested I try rugby, and I liked it more than football. Coach Perry had a big influence on me, and rugby will always be a part of the decisions I make with my life.”


This Week’s Eagle Impact Rugby Academy Player Spotlight is Penn State flanker and captain Malcolm May.