Katherine Webb, girlfriend of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, celebrates after the BCS Championship game on Monday night when the Crimson Tide beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 42-14.
MIAMI GARDENS, Florida (USA TODAY) - Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron won a second
BCS National Championship on Monday, but it was his girlfriend who won
Katherine Webb, who has been dating the Alabama
quarterback for about a month, started trending on Twitter early in
Alabama's win over Notre Dame. Plenty of air time during the broadcast
and an awkward exchange between the ESPN announcers served as a Twitter
boost for the former Miss Alabama USA.
Photo Gallery: 2012 Miss USA Pageant
a 23-year-old Montgomery, Ala., native and Auburn alum, saw her
followers increase from around 2,300 to more than 109,000 by early
But as her following grew - including for a brief
time Miami Heat forward LeBron James - Webb was mostly oblivious. Her
phone was dead.
"I did get to check it a little bit through a friend's phone," she told USA TODAY Sports. "It's been crazy."
the more bizarre turns of her moment-by-moment increase in popularity
was Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett posting his number and inviting
her to a strip club. He later deleted the tweet and said he meant to
send Webb a direct message.
McCarron responded to some of the
tweets on Tuesday morning. To Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, who said
Webb needed to become a Bulldogs fan, McCarron wrote, "u don't win
enough bud!! #15"
To Dockett, McCarron wrote, "u better worry ab
being in them playoffs, then going to king of diamonds homie..
#betterkeepdreaming like the rest of these dudes."
Coming off his second national championship in as many years,
McCarron couldn't feel threatened by the attention. Both Webb and
McCarron said he's not the jealous type, at least not about unwanted
advances Webb gets from other men.
Getting a follow from James, however briefly, that's a different story.
you swear," he said to a reporter after being told of James following
his girlfriend. "Man, I'm gonna tweet him and I'm gonna get a follow.
That's messed up. Hey, I guess she's more famous than me now."
Twitter frenzy started early in the first quarter with Alabama already
up 14-0 when ESPN cameras found Webb and McCarron's mother, Dee Dee
Bonner, in the crowd.
"You quarterbacks, you get all the good
looking women," said play-by-play announcer Brent Musberger. "What a
beautiful woman. Wow."
Kirk Herbstreit chimed in to say that
McCarron must be doing some things right before Musberger added, "If
you're a youngster in Alabama, start getting the football out and throw
it around the backyard with pop."
Told later about her ESPN
appearance, Webb said, "Oh Lord. This is the first time that's kind of
ever happened, for me. I've never dated someone who's actually been in
the spotlight, so it's a new thing for me."
finished in the top 10 in the Miss USA competition in June. A model who
lives in Los Angeles, she's used to attention, but even this was
Bonner said she first got a sense of what was happening
when she got a text to smile because she was so frequently on camera.
The attention wasn't surprising, she said, and was tamer than some of
the "crude and harsh" comments they sometimes hear from rival fans.
"As old as I'm getting, hell, I appreciate the compliments," Bonner said.
McCarron and Webb met via Twitter when a friend connected them in
November. In December, McCarron went to the pageant for Miss Alabama USA
2013, where Webb ended her reign, and the two have been together since.
know she's good looking. She's gonna have guys that jaw-drop over her,"
McCarron said. "That's life. I guess I'm the blessed one at the end of
the day. She's gotta put up with me."
Following his television
interviews on the field after the win, McCarron jogged to the Alabama
end zone with a slew of photographers in tow. He hugged his mother and
father, fist bumped several other family members and finally found Webb,
who bent down for a kiss.
The relationship is still new, but both
are excited. McCarron seems to have little to worry about. Webb is
talking about moving back to Alabama to be near him.
mean more time in the spotlight, but after the wild events of Monday - a
second national title and Twitter explosion among them - they expect
they'll handle it just fine.
Early Tuesday morning, Webb tweeted for the first time to her new legion of followers.
She wrote, "So extremely blessed... @10AJMcCarron. Congrats to Alabama and making history! #BCSChamps."
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