Curt Warner stopped when he came across his shiny new plaque during a tour of the College Football Hall of Fame.
Opposing linebackers rarely had such luck halting the tailback during his record-setting career at Penn State.
Those achievements in Happy Valley, including the school rushing mark of 3,398 yards during a four-year career capped by the 1982 national title season, earned him a spot on college football's most prestigious honor roll.
Warner was still trying to grasp the significance of the accolade Thursday night after the tour of the Hall in South Bend, Ind. He's part of a 24-member class enshrined tonight.
''It sort of brings into focus what this means,'' Warner said in a phone interview. ''You don't really take it until you see your name.''
Others to be honored tonight include Heisman Trophy winners Gino Torretta of Miami and Tim Brown of Notre Dame, and coaches Dick MacPherson and John Robinson.
Few honorees ended their college careers on such a high note as Warner. He ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns in the 1983 Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia that secured the first national championship for Penn State under coach Joe Paterno.
Now Warner is joining Paterno, a 2007 inductee, in the Hall of Fame.
''In all my years at Penn State, we have had a lot of exceptional backs, and he is one of the very best of that distinguished group,'' Paterno, entering his 45th year as head coach, said in a statement. That's pretty impressive considering JoePa has coached standouts like Heisman winner John Cappelletti, Lydell Mitchell and Blair Thomas.
Warner's 18 100-yard rushing games remain a Penn State record, as does his 341 all-purpose yards at Syracuse in 1981. He led the Nittany Lions in rushing from 1980-82.
Warner arrived in State College, a small town in the middle of rural Pennsylvania, from another small town, Pineville, W.Va. He was recruited by Tim Curley - now the Penn State athletic director - and didn't lack confidence from the start in 1979.
''One thing that football players or athletes in general do is you learn to evaluate the talent you are competing against or competing with,'' Warner said. ''Obviously we had some great athletes and football players, obviously you have to hone your skills ... but that first practice and the first game, I realized that I can compete.''
Warner went on to a distinguished career in the NFL after being selected third in the 1983 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks. He led the AFC in rushing his rookie year with 1,449 yards and 13 touchdowns on 335 carries, helping Seattle reach the conference finals.
Warner missed most of the 1984 season after suffering a knee injury in the opener. He played in Seattle until 1989 before going to the Los Angeles Rams to finish his eight-season NFL career in 1990 with 6,844 yards and 56 touchdowns rushing.
A car dealer for the last 16 years in Vancouver, Wash., Warner also helps coach a high school football team - running backs, of course.
Invariably, the subject of what it was like to play for Paterno always comes up. It's not often someone can list major college football's winningest coach as a reference on the resume.
After praising Paterno, Warner said with a chuckle, ''More importantly, you find out he's a pretty nice guy when you get out.''
Warner's Penn State rushing record will likely be eclipsed this year by senior Evan Royster, who is 480 yards shy of the mark.
''I think we're different. I was a little shiftier, more erratic,'' Warner said when asked to compare himself to Royster's running style. ''But the objective was, and the objective always is, to get up the field.''