Cyrus Jones

Gilman star Cyrus Jones has narrowed his choice of college to Alabama, Auburn, Maryland, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. (Doug Kapustin, Baltimore Sun / November 19, 2011)

Gilman’s Cyrus Jones will top off his Thanksgiving weekend with a trip one of the biggest football games in the country featuring two teams competing for his talents – Alabama and Auburn.

Jones has whittled his college list from more than 40 offers to five: Alabama, Auburn, Maryland, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. This trip to Auburn is his final official visit, and he said he will announce his decision before Christmas.

Originally, Jones said he would announce his decision at the Under Armour All-America game in January, but he doesn’t want to wait that long.

“It’s still kind of enjoyable,” Jones said of the recruiting process, “but I’ll have no problem getting it over with. It’s definitely been a journey. It’s kind of getting more stressful as it’s getting closer to my decision time. It’s still a blessing.”


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Although he visited Auburn last summer, Jones is eager to experience the atmosphere at the 76th annual Iron Bowl, one of the most intense rivalries in the college football. He’ll find out how it feels to be in the 87,400-seat Jordan-Hare Stadium with ESPN Game Day adding to the hoopla.

“It’s going to be a big game. You hear a lot about it on ESPN,” Jones said. “The tradition, I’m interested to see it up close. I’m excited about that.”

Jones, who has a 3.3 GPA, said he will sit down with his parents and Gilman coaches when he returns and figure out which program -- and school -- is the best fit for him.

“Overall just a place where I feel comfortable,” he said. “A high level of football, of course. Great academics. Great people. A place where I can enjoy my college experience and set myself up for after football.”

In paring his list from 10 to five, Jones dropped Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and Virginia. One of the top senior recruits, he is rated a 5-star prospect and the No. 5 wide receiver recruit in the country by Scout.com and a 4-star prospect and the No. 10 athlete in the country by rivals.com.

A 5-foot-11, 185-pound speedster, Jones played a variety of positions for the No. 1 Greyhounds this fall. All-Metro last season as a cornerback, he excels on both sides of the ball. In his final game in a Gilman jersey, Jones scored all of his team’s points in two overtimes as the Greyhounds edged No. 2 Calvert Hall, 34-32, in the A Conference final Saturday night.