C.J. McAnally jumped, and now he hopes a college football program will catch him.

The 6-foot-1, 188-pound multisport standout at Episcopal Academy officially decommitted from the University of Maryland in October, where he had previously pledged to play lacrosse.

On Wednesday, McAnally, the starting quarterback for the Churchmen who also plays midfield and attack on the lacrosse team, made his announcement through NXTlacrosse.com.

His heart belongs to football.

"I just always felt like football was my dream," McAnally said. "It was something I wanted to pursue at the next level. I realized this year, my senior year in high school, I couldn't let that be the last time I ever stepped on the field."

McAnally, who also plays defensive back, said schools from the Ivy League and the Colonial Athletic Association have expressed interest in him.

This season, McAnally has thrown for 786 yards and nine touchdowns and added 385 yards and two touchdowns rushing. He also scored via a receiving touchdown and an interception return.

He sat out last week in a loss to Penn Charter while recovering from a concussion. He said he was cleared for practice on Monday and expects to play this weekend against Springside Chestnut Hill.

For college, McAnally said he was being sought as an athlete: a slot receiver on offense and possibly a safety on defense.

Although he won't play lacrosse for the Terrapins, who lost in overtime to North Carolina in the NCAA championship game, he plans to play for the Churchmen in the spring.

He also thanked his father, Chuck, who played football at Malvern Prep and baseball at Villanova, and his mother, Annemarie, for helping him make the decision.

"I definitely juggled with these two possibilities for quite some time now," McAnally said. "Maryland was a great opportunity for me and something I'll cherish forever. It was hard to walk away from a top-three program in lacrosse to jump into an unknown situation. It was definitely a leap of faith. . . .

At the end of the day, I don't want to regret it 10 years down the road, and I ultimately want to follow my heart."

@AceCarterINQ

Cartera@phillynews.com