"We're going to miss Dontea, but this is something we all thought was best for him," said Wicomico assistant Patrick McGlinchey, who assumed interim head coaching duties last semester. "He had to make a tough choice, but going to Middletown will get him to Rutgers for the spring."
Ayres confirmed his decision to transfer, but was not immediately able to offer further comment.
Because of academic policy, Ayres would have had to attend Wicomico for all of the school year to graduate. Faced with the choice of a final year with his friends or an early arrival at Rutgers and the stability of a college living situation, Ayres opted to transfer.
"This was the only way he could graduate early," McGlinchey said. "He loves Rutgers and I honestly wanted him to [choose to transfer]. … He wants to enroll early. He's a great kid. I wish he could play for us, but we have a lot of young, talented players."
Ayres is set to withdraw from Wicomico next week and relocate to Middletown, where he will be ready to play by mid-September.
Middletown is also the home of top 2014 wide receiver prospect Chris Godwin, who holds a Rutgers offer and four others.
Ayres verbally committed to Rutgers in May over offers from Duke, West Virginia, Northwestern, Navy and N.C. State. A three-star prospect, Ayres ranks in as one of the top players out of Maryland and the No. 82 running back in the country.
A serious power-lifter and workout warrior, Ayres checks in at 5-foot-9, 205 pounds and is one of two commits planning to enroll early at Rutgers alongside Moise Larose.