Cyrus Jones Jr. needed only two words to make his college choice clear at Thursday night's Under Armour All-America game at Tropicana Field.
"Roll Tide" the star senior said as he replaced a Gilman visor with an Alabama baseball cap during his college announcement interview, which took place in the fourth quarter of the game on ESPN.
A few mintues earlier, Jones returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown to help his White team to an eventual 49-16 victory, just the latest evidence of why he's one of the most sought after football recruits to ever come out of this area.
Jones noted in an interview with Katherine Dunn that the plan is for him to be a slot receiver for the Crimson Tide. When I saw him play in the regular season game against Calvert Hall this fall, the level of his technical skills and his ability to accelerate in small spaces were probably the most impressive, making that position seemingly a perfect fit for him.
But as good as Alabama has been over the years, that's not exactly a position where the Tide is known for churning out made-for-NFL stars.
The only current receiver from Alabama in the league is the Falcons' Julio Jones, who at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds is a different type of player than the 5-10, 185-pound Cyrus Jones projects. (Alabama's top receiver this year, Marquis Maze, is about the same size as Cyrus, but he's not nearly as heralded as Julio was.)
Considering that Cyrus Jones' goal is to get to the next level, the coaches must have sold him on how important that slot role will be to their offense. There's little doubt Jones will also factor into Alabama's special teams plans at some point.
According to an ESPN story, he may have also been swayed by what was on Nick Saban's the breakfast table.
It was also interesting that, on the telecast, Jones was asked about his final four schools considered, which were Alabama, Virginia Tech, Auburn and Ohio State. He had previously said that Maryland was also finalist, although it seemed unlikely the whole way that he'd choose the Terps. (Maryland did, however get an All-American running back from the state to commit Thursday.)
Looking at the schools on that list, you can't really go wrong, and it seemed like Jones had his whole family behind him. At the end of Jones' television interview, ESPN's Dari Nowkhah gave Cyrus' mother the final word, which she used to repeat her son's refrain: "Roll Tide."
It was better than the next player to make his commitment, safety Landon Collins who also chose 'Bama to the obvious chagrin of his mother, who said seconds later that she felt her son should have chosen LSU.
There was no such drama with Cyrus' announcement, which wound up being a neat moment for him, his school and this area.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun