RB Ayres Talks "Reassuring" Official Visit

Middletown (Del.) running back and former Wicomico (Salisbury, Md.) standout Dontea Ayres officially visited Rutgers this weekend with early enrollment just a month away. Ayres spoke on his way home about his first visit since he committed and why it made him feel reassured about his decision.

Middletown (Del.) running back Dontea Ayres was not wavering on his decision to attend Rutgers, per say, but going eight months between visits made him feel slightly uneasy.

Returning to Rutgers this weekend for his official visit was all the reassurance Ayres needed and he remains set to join the program next semester as an early enrollee.

"This weekend did a lot for me," Ayres said. "It was a big reassuring weekend. The fact that I haven't' been there for a while made it tough sometimes. It was good to be back around the coaches and the players. They gave me a better feel for them than I had. I'm very big on making relationships with my coaches and my teammates and I feel like, this weekend, I accomplished something."

Ayres has a preexisting relationship with senior safety Wayne Warren. Both from Wicomico High (Salisbury, Md.), Warren and Ayres work out together during the offseason and have a close relationship. Ayres originally played at Wicomico before transferring to Middletown as a senior to get eligible for early enrollment.

"I got to catch up with Wayne Friday night, him and D.C. Jefferson," Ayres said. "Wayne has his last college game and I'm very excited for him."

Sophomore running back Jawan Jamison and freshman offensive lineman Derrick Nelson spent time with Ayres during the visit.

Jamison, the first back to reach 1,000 yards in a season at Rutgers since Ray Rice, offered Ayres advice over breakfast.

"I'm coming to compete," Ayres said. "Jawan had breakfast with me this morning, which was great. I'm starting to build a relationship with Jawan. Talking to him, he told me all of the things that are expected and what I'm going to have to do."

Nelson came to Rutgers from the Washington, D.C., area this year and spoke with Ayres about the transition to college.

"He told me it's a big adjustment but how he adjusted to it and everything," Ayres said. "The life up there is different. You have to be responsible for a lot of things. You have to come in hungry, stay focused, manage your time and don't waste anything."

Ayres lived with his former head coach, Dave Nettles, for much of his high-school career and said making it to Rutgers next month is going to mean a lot to those that supported him.

"I just want to make them proud," Ayres said. "I know it means a lot to them and all of the time and care they've given me, it's going for a good cause. I feel like, at Rutgers, I'm definitely going to accomplish that goal."

Ayres did not play as a senior because of a knee injury and transfer to Middletown. He is, however, healthy and to compete this spring.

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