MIAMI GARDENS, Florida (USA TODAY) - Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron won a secondBCS National Championship on Monday, but it was his girlfriend who wonthe Internet.
Katherine Webb, who has been dating the Alabamaquarterback for about a month, started trending on Twitter early inAlabama's win over Notre Dame. Plenty of air time during the broadcastand an awkward exchange between the ESPN announcers served as a Twitterboost for the former Miss Alabama USA.
Photo Gallery:2012 Miss USA Pageant
Webb,a 23-year-old Montgomery, Ala., native and Auburn alum, saw herfollowers increase from around 2,300 to more than 109,000 by earlyTuesday morning.
But as her following grew - including for a brieftime Miami Heat forward LeBron James - Webb was mostly oblivious. Herphone 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."
Amongthe more bizarre turns of her moment-by-moment increase in popularitywas Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett posting his number and invitingher to a strip club. He later deleted the tweet and said he meant tosend Webb a direct message.
McCarron responded to some of thetweets on Tuesday morning. To Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, who saidWebb needed to become a Bulldogs fan, McCarron wrote, "u don't winenough bud!! #15"
To Dockett, McCarron wrote, "u better worry abbeing 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 andMcCarron said he's not the jealous type, at least not about unwantedadvances Webb gets from other men.
Getting a follow from James, however briefly, that's a different story.
"Sayyou swear," he said to a reporter after being told of James followinghis 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."
TheTwitter frenzy started early in the first quarter with Alabama alreadyup 14-0 when ESPN cameras found Webb and McCarron's mother, Dee DeeBonner, in the crowd.
"You quarterbacks, you get all the goodlooking women," said play-by-play announcer Brent Musberger. "What abeautiful woman. Wow."
Kirk Herbstreit chimed in to say thatMcCarron must be doing some things right before Musberger added, "Ifyou're a youngster in Alabama, start getting the football out and throwit around the backyard with pop."
Told later about her ESPNappearance, Webb said, "Oh Lord. This is the first time that's kind ofever happened, for me. I've never dated someone who's actually been inthe spotlight, so it's a new thing for me."
Webbfinished in the top 10 in the Miss USA competition in June. A model wholives in Los Angeles, she's used to attention, but even this wasunique.
Bonner said she first got a sense of what was happeningwhen 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 ofthe "crude and harsh" comments they sometimes hear from rival fans.
"As old as I'm getting, hell, I appreciate the compliments," Bonner said.
Appropriately,McCarron and Webb met via Twitter when a friend connected them inNovember. In December, McCarron went to the pageant for Miss Alabama USA2013, where Webb ended her reign, and the two have been together since.
"Iknow 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 ofthe day. She's gotta put up with me."
Following his televisioninterviews on the field after the win, McCarron jogged to the Alabamaend zone with a slew of photographers in tow. He hugged his mother andfather, fist bumped several other family members and finally found Webb,who bent down for a kiss.
The relationship is still new, but bothare excited. McCarron seems to have little to worry about. Webb istalking about moving back to Alabama to be near him.
It'd likelymean more time in the spotlight, but after the wild events of Monday - asecond national title and Twitter explosion among them - they expectthey'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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