Malcolm May, flanker for Penn State, has blossomed into one of the more elite players in the country over his past six years of playing. May, a junior, not only starts for the Nittany Lions, but also has the privileged to put on the USA jersey and represent his country on the international level.
May first picked up the sport because he needed something to do in the spring, little did he know at the time how much of an impact the sport would have on him. “I started freshmen year of high school after the fall football season simply because I was bored and I needed something to fill the time, turns out rugby would eventually begin to mean way more than just a time filler for me,”said May.
While at Penn State, May has been on a challenging road with the team going through multiple coaching changes but loves the camaraderie he has with his teammates. May continued, “My experience playing at Penn State has been a tough and hard road, but a very fun and rewarding time. I’ve met great players, friends, and coaches here, definitely people I will know and love for the rest of my life. Although if I could take away one thing from my experience here it would be resiliency. We’ve gone through a couple head coaching changes and turmoil that saw us briefly suspended, but through it all the team stuck together and finally with a new head coach in Blake Burdette, renewed enthusiasm in the team, and a move to varsity cup, the resiliency paid off and we’ve put ourselves in a position to do great things.”
Not only has May had great experiences with Penn State, he also has transformed as a player while training with the national team. He explained, “My experience playing for the USA under 17’s and under 19’s was a fruitful one. It transformed me. Salty Thompson, along with the experience that comes from international play turned me into an athlete who plays rugby into a rugby player who happens to be an athlete. I hope to continue to play for the USA and one day reach the men’s team. It’s always an honor to represent your country.”
When it comes to favorite moments, May recalls one tournament for the national team that will never escape his memory. “My favorite rugby moment was getting a win against Japan in the junior Olympics in rugby sevens, as well as scoring a try against France during that same tournament,” said May.
Penn State’s will take on Iona College Friday, October 30th at their home pitch on the West Camus Fields. Best of luck to Malcolm and the rest of the Nittany Lion rugby squad!