As Baltimore Ravens cornerback and return specialist Cyrus Jones settles down in his new NFL home, the Baltimore native is using his life experiences to give back to the community that made him who he is today.
The past few months have been a whirlwind for Jones after he was cut by the New England Patriots following training camp this year. Jones signed with the Ravens Sept. 3 to be a part of their practice squad, but the Patriots signed him to their active roster Sept. 19.
Jones was released by New England Oct. 6, after which he was claimed off waivers by Baltimore. It's a lengthier homecoming for the Gilman graduate than before; he's played in three games for the Ravens and has returned six punts for 81 yards.
"This time it feels like a more permanent thing," Jones said on
Glenn Clark Radio
Oct. 31. "I thought it was something that was supposed to happen, something that was supposed to be done a long time ago."
Since returning to his hometown, Jones has used his platform and his life experiences to reach out to youth around the city, specifically at the Green Street Academy, a public charter school in West Baltimore.
"I'm born and bred, and this community means so much to me," Jones said. "It's a no-brainer that I would be out there."
In an effort to be a new role model for children in Baltimore City, Jones hopes to give kids an example to follow using his own life lessons and stories.
"I feel like it's important for kids to see our faces, especially me being a kid that grew up just like them and was in their shoes at one point," Jones said. "Just to offer that sense of hope and positivity that you can reach your dreams if you just work hard and do the right things."
Jones hopes that his story can change how kids understand success and how they view their heroes in sports.
"They automatically put a cape around our back and think we're superhuman," Jones said. "We're human beings just like the average person walking around here."
Drafted out of Alabama, Jones started his career in New England, primarily as a return specialist. After a disappointing rookie season for the second-round pick in 2016, Jones suffered a season-ending knee injury during the Patriots' preseason finale in 2017.
Despite the rocky start to his professional career, Jones believes his struggles have improved his mindset and abilities on and off the field.
"I've definitely been through a lot," Jones said. "But the true test of courage is how you respond to adversity."
"I really found out who I was as a person and I feel like I'm better for it," Jones added. "It just made me better, made me stronger, I learned a lot."
To hear more from Jones, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox