It's hard to pinpoint exactly when A.J. Wallace lost his mind. But that's what happens when, in a just a few months, you trade your anonymity for a place among the top 20 recruits nationwide.

It might have been in the cafeteria of Shippensburg University in July, while McDonough's football team was at camp. As Wallace was eating lunch with his teammates, someone came up to him and asked for his autograph.

"That's when I said, 'Man, it must be getting crazy,' " Wallace said. "Then I realized I made it to where I wanted to be, in the spotlight."

It also could have been on any one of the nights when recruiters would call Wallace and talk to him about the dozens of schools that had offered him a scholarship as a defensive back.

Nebraska, Ohio State, Miami, Michigan, LSU, Florida State and USC.

USC? The two-time defending national champion? When did that offer come?

"I never got a letter from them" with an offer, Wallace said. "But people keep telling me they've offered me. [Coaches] from other schools are telling me that. Then I read in Sports Illustrated and on [recruiting Web sites] that I was offered, so I guess I was.

"I don't know what to think anymore."

In June 2004, after a solid sophomore season (1,023 yards rushing) Wallace attended a camp at Nebraska, and his life would never be the same. After seeing his dynamic raw skills, the Cornhuskers said they would offer Wallace a scholarship Sept. 1, the earliest date allowed.

That caught the attention of programs nationwide. Why would Nebraska act so quickly on a previously unknown kid from an undistinguished program nowhere near its back yard? The Cornhuskers must be on to something.

Since then, Wallace has been a celebrity on the national recruiting circuit. His process of wading through his offers has been chronicled thoroughly on Web sites and will continue this fall as he takes official visits to Ohio State and Nebraska and possibly to Florida State and LSU as well.

It's a lot for someone who started high school without any fanfare.

"I wasn't expecting any of this attention," he said. "You try to keep everything in perspective, but it's hard to do when you're hearing everything that's being said."

That is Rams Coach Dave Bradshaw's biggest task with Wallace this season -- prevent his star from overtaking the rest of the team.

"Football is a team concept, and we've talked to A.J. about that," Bradshaw said.

Fame is fleeting, Wallace said. It might be the most important lesson he has learned throughout this process.

"Once I leave here, it's like starting all over again," Wallace said. "I'm trying not to get too big headed because if I do and take it to college, well, you know."

He would be back where he was two years ago: unknown.

McDonough's A.J. Wallace is being recruited by some of the country's best-known Division I programs. "You try to keep everything in perspective," said Wallace, "but it's hard to do when you're hearing everything that's being said."