Former Mount Shasta Bear is making his mark as a COS Eagle
Since Jackson May arrived on the College of the Siskiyou campus for the fall semester, COS football coach Tyler Knudsen said he has done all the right things to make a strong impression.
May, a 6-foot 3-inch, 220 pound player who graduated from Mount Shasta High School in 2020 has impressed Knudsen with his work ethic and how he strives to improve every day.
So much so, when COS opened the spring football season on March 6 at Shasta College, May was splitting starting tight end duties with sophomore Addison Galen.
“I would take 100 players like Jackson May if I could,” said Knudsen.
May, age 19, did a good job blocking and doing what was asked of him and played well for his first collegiate game, Knudsen said. He had two catches for 13 yards in the exciting 19-16 victory that COS won on a 37-yard pass on the final play of the game.
“He’s been great for us,” Knudsen said. “He comes to practice everyday and is prepared and works hard and does what’s asked of him. He is making the most of his opportunities.”
Knudsen said that May played O-line in high school but happily switched to tight end for COS. He said it is nice to have a tight end that can block well, but added May can also catch the ball well and has good size.
Knudsen said he believes that May can move on and play at a four-year school if he chooses to.
“He’s eager to do what he can to help the team and improve as a player,” Knudsen said.
Jackson did not plan to play football in college but “then COVID-19 changed everything.”
May, who currently holds a 4.0 grade point average at COS, had planned to put up the pads and go to Northern Arizona University to study engineering. He had no intention to try out for the Lumberjacks football team, which is a NCAA Division 1 subdivision program.
Since classes were mainly being held online at NAU, May decided it would not be worth traveling away from home and spending a substantial amount of money for online courses.
He decided it would be best to stay close to home and go to COS. But when he was invited to join the Eagles football team, May thought it was a great opportunity.
Knudsen said it is hard for players to catch up to the college game, but while there have been challenges, Jackson has done what he can to learn from his mistakes and learn and improve, which is a trait a good player must possess.
Knudsen is excited to see what Jackson can do the rest of the way. This week, COS is at Feather River. The team has games at home on April 3 against Shasta and they end the spring season against Feather River in Weed on April 10. No fans will be allowed at the games but both home games will be broadcast live on the internet.
May will not lose eligibility by playing in the spring and will still be a freshman when he plays for the Eagles this fall.
Knudsen said May has put on weight and muscle at COS and believes this will help him moving forward.
Knudsen said he is always happy to have local players like Jackson join the program and he’s always looking for more to join the team.
“I’m happy to have the chance to compete and continue to play football so close to home,” May said.
Jackson said he was pleased when the Eagles asked him to switch to tight end.
Since the team was so small at Mount Shasta High School he was asked to play on the offensive line. When he played youth football he played receiver and running back. He said he was glad to go back to that and have the opportunity to catch the ball again.
He admitted that the game is much quicker on the college level. After all, he said “pretty much everyone on our team was the star player for their high school.”
“You have to go out and work hard to be successful,” May said. “It's a lot more intense.” He said he just has been learning all he can.
Jackson said it was exciting and a bit nerve-wracking to step onto the field to play his first college game after not playing since the fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was pretty surreal,” May said, adding that it’s an experience he will not forget anytime soon.
When COS won at the last-second, Jackson said he was on the sidelines but excitedly ran onto the field with his teammates to celebrate after the final second ticked off the clock. He said that was the first time he had run onto a field like that.
May said the coaching staff at COS has been amazing and have helped him become a better player. He expressed gratitude for them giving him an opportunity to prove himself.
“I’m enjoy being out here and being able to play football,” Jackson said.
May said his plan is to just to enjoy this opportunity one day at a time and see what happens next. He said he does plan to move on to study at a four-year school and is taking a wait-and-see attitude if football will be in his future at the four-year level.