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Top DI Forward of the Fall - Malcolm May

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Top DI Forward of the Fall - Malcolm May

May on the charge for Penn State against Delaware. Mimi Goodman photo.

When we at Goff Rugby Report World Headquarters chose Malcolm May as the best forward in Men’s Di college rugby this fall, the choice had to be made having not seen all of the candidates - so we relied in part on coach feedback, and that’s where May excelled.

In every game Penn State played, coaches lauded the powerful young flanker’s play. As Penn State surged to a 6-1 record in the Rugby East, May was at the center of the Nittany Lions’ efforts as a ballcarrier, tackler, and ball-winner. And, amazingly, the junior is still eligible for U20 rugby. 

Ready to pack down. Mimi Goodman photo.
Malcolm May Penn State

New Penn State Head Coach Blake Burdette says May has impressed him in part with how the St. Ignatius (Chicago) HS star handled injury.

“We just worked,” said Burdette. “He continued to work during the off-season to get bigger, stronger, and more mature. He’s still young, but there’s not a guy on the team who works harder. A lot of guys, when they get an injury, you don’t see them at training, and he was there. That speaks to his character.”

Character is all well and good, but what about game play? Burdette agrees with our own assessment that May, who played with the HS All Americans and was a Junior Olympian, is one of the best.

“There are a lot of kids who work hard,” said Burdette. “But then you meet certain players you know are special, and they are on a different level. Mentally he understands the game well, he’s very tough and quick, especially at the breakdown. he’s so quick, he can get penalized for not releasing the ballcarrier when he just moves really fast.”

May readies to pick up the ball, garnering the attention of another candidate for best forward of the year, Jordan Ghyzel of Kutztown. Mimi Goodman photo
Malcolm May Penn State

May is known for going all out all the time. Burdette has had to ask him to tone it down at practice, but, as the coach said, May is on another level.

He’s the best forward of the fall in men’s DI rugby, and he still qualifies for the U20s.