Hawkeye football recruit Carson May 'always had a big arm'

James D. Jackson

JONES, Oklahoma — Carson May has enjoyed the small-town life.

Sports, family and community — that's all he's ever had to worry about. 

“Ever since I was little, my dad put a football in my hand,” May said. “and that’s all I’ve done. Football, baseball and basketball, that’s about it, but football is the main thing."

And what a main thing it's become.

He’s No. 30 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 rankings of the state’s top high school recruits in the 2022 class — the only quarterback on the list this year. Despite the accomplishments he achieved and the stats he tallied last season, May only has Division I offers from Iowa, Western Michigan and Old Dominion.

But it isn't quantity that May is looking for, it's the right fit. So, soon after Iowa offered May on Monday afternoon, he committed on Tuesday. 

"I've been really patient for this offer and glad the opportunity has finally come," May told The Oklahoman.

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Jones quarterback Carson May is No. 30 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 rankings of the state’s top high school recruits in the 2022 class.

May and his family moved to Jones before his third-grade year. In a town of 3,000, it wasn't long before they ran into Jones High School football coach Dave Martin

“He was on my son’s travel baseball team,” Martin said of the first time he met May. "A big ol' tall kid, and he was just one of those kids that you knew he was going to have a big future athletically."

May has always been one of the tallest kids in his class, and he loves being the leader. So, despite May's brother, Dalton, excelling at the tight end position for Jones and then in college at Tulsa, May has always known what position he was going to play. 


May's dad and coach were on board, too.

“He was a quarterback all through junior high," Martin said, "and we were grooming that kid to really be a special quarterback for us one day.”

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May has lived up to all expectations.

He’s grown into a 6-foot-5, 220-pound big-armed quarterback who can completely take over a game with his talent. 

Jones quarterback Carson May throws a pass against Luther last season.

He showed that last season. 

As a junior, May threw for 26 touchdowns and over 3,000 yards to lead Jones to a 9-3 record and a deep Class 2A state playoff run. 

May believes he's the best quarterback in the state. At least that's what his Twitter bio says. But even as others notice his talent and potential, he still can count his current D-I offers on one hand.

So is he underrated?

“There’s no doubt,” Martin said.

And the feeling around Jones isn’t any different: as good as Carson has been, with his size, there should be many more Division-I offers. Jones is known for producing high-quality quarterbacks: David Cornwell, Daxx Garman, Brandon George and others have all made stops at Jones.

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“That’s what a lot of people say,” May said about being underrated last week. “I just have to work harder.”

May has worked. After missing out on college trips last season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he's traveled all over the country taking every opportunity this summer to visit camps and colleges that haven't signed a quarterback in his class, most notably Iowa and Houston.

It worked out. 

Carson May of Jones drops back to pass during a high school football between Jones and Henryetta in Jones, Okla.,Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019.  [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

The small-town prospect will take his talents to the Big Ten Conference, where Martin believed May would best fit all along. Martin knew May had fewer D-I offers than he should have, but he believed his style of play was the reason. 

“I think they view him as more of a pro-style type quarterback and they’re more worried about trying to find the dual-threat guy,” Martin told The Oklahoman on Saturday. “Looking at Big Ten country probably is more of where he fits at as a pro-style quarterback. Down here in this region, there’s so much of the dual-threat type of players.”

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May definitely fits that pro-style description, being a big, tall quarterback who prefers to stand in the pocket and pick apart defenses with his passing ability. He threw for 250 yards per game last season. But Martin said May is an athlete who can scramble as dual-threat quarterbacks do, he just rarely has to. 

“His foot speed has really increased and improved the last couple of years,” Martin said. “He’s down to a 4.6, 4.7 40 (yard dash) time now. His speed and mobility has been a game-changer. 

"Carson has always had a big arm, but his feet improving has really been impressive to me.”

Iowa is bound to be a bit of a different experience than the small town where May grew up. But he won't forget about the place that shaped him into the athlete he is today.

“Growing up in this small town and watching Friday nights and looking up to all the people who have been good quarterbacks and watching my brother win a state championship for the first time, it’s been pretty awesome," May said. "I’ve always liked the small-town vibe. Just growing up here it’s always been an awesome experience. I’ve had a fun ride.”

The Oklahoman’s 2022 Super 30

Name: Carson May | School: Jones

Super 30 ranking: No. 30

Ht.: 6-foot-5 | Wt.: 220 pounds

Position: QB | Committed to: Iowa