2:07 PM PT -- Katherine has released a statement to TMZ confirming she cancelled 8 interviews scheduled for today ... but says, "My decision to cancel the interviews was not made at A.J.'s request."
Katherine says she decided to pull out because she feared her relationship with A.J. will be viewed as a "celebrity status" thing ... instead of a real, legitimate connection ... and worries that the misconception could spell doom for the couple.
"I want it to be about me and him," Webb says ... adding, "He's a guy I can see myself having a real future with."
Katherine Webb has gone off the grid ... banning herself from speaking to ANY media outlets ... partly because her superstar QB boyfriend A.J. McCarron is upset that he's been overshadowed by Webb's hotness.
Of course, Webb -- the reigning Miss Alabama USA -- shot to instant fame Monday night, when ESPN announcer Brent Musburger pointed her out in the crowd and RAVED about how insanely attractive she is.
Since the game, Webb's gained more than 100k Twitter followers and has been getting hit up by media outlets from around the country -- including the "Today" show and various entertainment news shows.
But sources close to Webb tell us ... McCarron made it clear to her -- he's not happy that the media is ignoring his accomplishments on the field. We're told Webb is taking her relationship seriously and thinks the publicity could torpedo things with A.J.
In fact, we're told one major media outlet showed up to Webb's front door this morning looking to speak with Katherine ... but she turned them down. We're told she also backed out of several interviews that were already scheduled.
Sources connected to the situation tell TMZ ... Donald Trump -- who owns the Miss USA competition -- got word of Webb's self-imposed media blackout ... and decided to get involved.
We're told Trump talked her into appearing on the "Today" show -- but she won't budge when it comes to doing any other PR.
Sources close to A.J. tell us ... the QB has made it clear to friends he wants to keep his private life private. One source tells us A.J. isn't jealous of Katherine, but wants to keep the spotlight on his team and their accomplishments.