For our next installment of the 100 day countdown to kickoff against North Dakota State University, 94 represents the year 1994, the year Chad May became a First Team All-American for Bill Snyder. He was the quarterback that helped put the program squarely on the map with two outstanding seasons for the Wildcats.
In the five previous years Snyder had spent coaching at K-State he had three first teamers – punter Sean Snyder (1992), kick returner Andre Coleman (1993), and defensive back Thomas Randolph (1993). However, Chad May was special. Sean was an easy player to recruit – he was Bill Snyder’s son. Coleman wasn’t a native of Kansas, but recruiting a kick returner isn’t nearly as important as recruiting a quarterback. And Randolph graduated from Manhattan High School.
Chad May wasn’t from Kansas, and didn’t even plan to play for the Wildcats. In fact, he was a starter at Cal State Fullerton in 1991 as a freshman. He struggled that year, completing 7 of 233 passes (41.6%) and threw four touchdowns to nine interceptions. However, Snyder saw the potential in May and convinced him to transfer over the summer, sitting out the season in 1992 due to transfer rules.
May had an excellent first season with the team, leading the Wildcats to their first bowl game of the Bill Snyder era. The team went 9-2-1 and defeated Wyoming 52-17 in the Copper Bowl. He also set a school record that year in throwing for 2,682 yards (a mark that was eventually broken by Michael Bishop). However, his 1994 season was even more amazing.
Ready to build on the momentum of his junior year, May led the team to four straight victories and a #19 national ranking before falling to annual bully Nebraska. However, that K-State played the Cornhuskers so closely (a 6-17 loss), the team still climbed in the rankings to #16 following the game. The Wildcats would finish 9-2 in the regular season and 5-2 in conference play that year, their losses to aforementioned Nebraska (who would go on to win the national championship) and Colorado (who finished #3 in the nation). They would be invited to Hawaii for the Aloha Bowl, where they fell 7-12 to Boston College in a game that May was sacked eight times.
Although May threw for fewer yards his senior year, he dramatically improved his accuracy, increasing his completion percentage from 53 to 60 percent. He also went from a 10:16 touchdown:interception ratio to 18:6. His progression led him to be picked by Minnesota in the fourth round of the 1995 draft, but not before leading Bill Snyder to his first bowl game at K-State and being named an All-American in the process.