As the star running back from Central H.S. heads into the second round of the Class of 3A state playoffs this week, three schools – Louisville, Illinois and Kentucky - have separated themselves from the pack.
Wales, who will make an unofficial visit to Louisville for the Cardinals game against Pittsburgh, has been impressed with Charlie Strong's program this season.
"He's building a nice program and in the future they're going to be a great team," Wales said. "They have a nice staff that I'd like to play for. Louisville is a big school in my mind right now that I might go to."
Though Louisville started slowly this season, the Cardinals have won three consecutive Big East games, including an upset of West Virginia on the road last week that moved Strong's young team into second place in the league behind Cincinnati.
"For them to be able to beat West Virginia it's so amazing because those guys are just so young. And I know they've got four years to get better," Wales said. "If I go there they're still going to improve on offense. I see that the coaches are building a nice program for the next couple years."
Wales hasn't scheduled his official visits, but he plans to visit Illinois, Louisville and Kentucky in December.
"I'm probably going to start taking them right after the state championship game," Wales said. "I probably will visit Illinois (first) and then Louisville and Kentucky. I'm not sure who else (after that)."
Illinois, with former Louisville assistants Jeff Brohm and Paul Petrino on Ron Zook's staff, are well positioned with Wales.
"I've been keeping in a lot of touch with them. They seem like the type coaches I get along with and they know about the Louisville player. They understand that coming from down here. They seem like they have a nice program also," Wales said.
Kentucky's Joker Phillips has enjoyed recent recruiting success at Central and is trying to persuade Wales to play college football for the Wildcats.
"I can see that Kentucky has a lot of filling in to do from losing the nice club that they had," Wales said. "It's just a building year for those guys to become better in the future."
Staying close to home will be a major factor in Wales' decision.
"I haven't made any type of decision if I want to stay home or leave the state," said Wales. "We've talked about it and frankly I don't want to go too far away so my parents can come see me play and my brothers and sisters. That's a big part of my decision."
Wales has rushed for 7,636 yards and needs only 578 yards to surpass Derek Homer's state rushing career record.