Katherine Webb, AJ McCarron girlfriend, says she'll move

January 9, 2013 12:50:23 PM PST
How many people know what it's like to go from 2,000 Twitter followers to 100,000 in five hours?

That's what happened to one woman in the crowd during the college football championship game on Monday. So we had to find out, who is that girl?

"Wow, I'm telling you quarterbacks: You get all the good- looking women. What a beautiful woman. Wow!" said one announcer of Monday night's game, who seemed to be mesmerized by one particularly pretty fan cheering on the Crimson Tide's star player.

Shown on camera not once, not twice, but repeatedly. Katherine Webb, the 23-year-old girlfriend of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, is America's newest 'It' girl.

Webb is now one of the top names searched for on Google and Yahoo. The number of texts she's receiving so overwhelming, it shut down her phone! And since Monday night, her Twitter account has been flooded with thousands of new admirers. Before the game, she had just a few hundred followers, during the game her popularity skyrocketed, and this morning, she's already passed 200,000. That's even more than her football star beau.

"Hey... I guess she's even more famous than me," McCarron said.

This isn't the first time Webb's been in the spotlight; she's a part-time model, who was crowned Miss Alabama USA 2012 and even broke the top 10 in last year's Miss USA pageant.

"I worked so hard and so long to be at the moment," she said. "And it changed my life completely."

The brunette beauty's life changed again just three weeks ago when she met McCarron. In a new interview, Webb says, "I had no idea who AJ was. But I thought he was cute."

Her alma mater, Auburn University, is bitter in-state rivals with her boyfriend's school; they've even been dubbed the Romeo and Juliet of Alabama.

But now, Webb tells the Birmingham News she's not interested in all this hype.

"All the media attention would be awesome if i was looking to make something out of it. All I want to do is date AJ. My intentions are not to feed off everything," she said.

To paraphrase what is next for her, it's pretty serious.

"I would never make a major life change for a guy unless it was serious. My plan is to move back from Los Angeles to be with AJ," she said.

Her boyfriend, undeterred, tweeted out a message to her admirers: "Better keep dreaming." Even Darnell Dockett of the Arizona Cardinals tweeted Webb his phone number.

"It's been actually kind of fun," the 23-year-old model and Miss Alabama USA 2012 told The Associated Press.

Webb gained tens of thousands of Twitter followers during and after Alabama's 42-14 win over Notre Dame on Monday to claim its third national championship in four seasons. But she said she remained oblivious in the stands, sitting near McCarron's mother, because her iPhone had died.

Soon, friends seated nearby showed her what was happening on Twitter and pointed out that her picture was on TV.

"I just couldn't believe it," said Webb, who, according to her pageant biography, graduated with a business degree from Alabama rival Auburn University in 2011. "I was just in complete surprise."

Dee Dee Bonner, McCarron's mother, said the two laughed as Webb's Twitter count grew.

"We were like, 'Oh my God,'" Bonner said. "She said, 'All I want to do is date your son.' We've been laughing about it. It's quite shocking."

ESPN announcer Brent Musburger remarked that Webb was a beautiful woman as the cameras revisited her. "Wow, I'm telling you quarterbacks: You get all the good-looking women," he said.

Some found the remarks from the 73-year-old Musburger out of line. On Tuesday, ESPN released this statement: "We always try to capture interesting storylines and the relationship between an Auburn grad who is Miss Alabama and the current Alabama quarterback certainly met that test. However, we apologize that the commentary in this instance went too far and Brent understands that."

But Webb said Musburger's comments didn't bother her.

"It was kind of nice," she said. "I didn't look at it as creepy at all. For a woman to be called beautiful, I don't see how that's an issue."

As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Webb had topped 175,000 Twitter followers, trumping McCarron's 114,000. Before the game, she reportedly had about 2,000.

Webb told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that she first encountered McCarron on Twitter, and they met in early December when he attended the Miss Alabama USA pageant in Montgomery. Her biography says she was born in Montgomery and grew up in Phoenix City, but now lives in Los Angeles - though Bonner said she is considering moving back to Alabama to be with McCarron.

Before Monday's game, Webb tweeted a photo of herself wearing a jersey with McCarron's number, her arms wrapped around him.

Early Tuesday, Webb posted her first tweet to her new followers: "So extremely blessed... @10AJMcCarron. Congrats to Alabama and making history! #BCSChamps."

Webb later said she doesn't think McCarron minds the attention on her.

But when Arizona Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett tweeted Webb his telephone number and suggested they meet after the game, McCarron responded, telling Dockett, "#betterkeepdreaming like the rest of these dudes."

With the play clock down to zero and just a few minutes before the confetti started raining down, McCarron expressed displeasure with All-America center Barrett Jones after an essentially meaningless delay of game penalty. Jones gave him a good shove, and then the Crimson Tide went back to dispatching Notre Dame 42-14 Monday night to claim the program's second straight national title and third in four years.

Both parties and coach Nick Saban dismissed the incident as no big deal.

"Well, that's just AJ," Saban said. "That's the kind relationship I have with him.'

Feisty, competitive and hardly lacking in confidence, McCarron was once again on target and well-protected in a BCS championship game.

The nation's leader in passing efficiency completed 20 of 28 passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns in a game that might have even been better than his MVP performance against LSU a year ago. He moved past John Parker Wilson to set the school record with 49 career passing touchdowns with a year to go since McCarron has already announced he'll return for his senior season instead of turning pro.

McCarron has had plenty of spats with Jones, the leader of an offensive line that kept his jersey virtually spotless in the finale: No sacks, not even an official quarterback hurry on the stat sheet. That stuff happens with motivated competitors in such close quarters.

Just not usually on national television.

"I shouldn't have pushed him," said Jones, who won the William V. Campbell Trophy as college football's top scholar-athlete. "It's just not a big deal. The play clock was running down. We were delayed. We just wanted to run some clock and we ended up not having much time at the line and they shifted and I ended up having to make some calls, and then the clock ran out. AJ blamed it on the nearest person, which was me."

McCarron had a different take on what happened, but also dismissed the significance. He blamed it on miscommunication - sort of.

"He wanted to do something else, and I was right and he didn't like it," McCarron said, grinning. "That's us, we're both perfectionist. I think you're all are making it a little bit bigger than what it is."

Alabama had plenty of big offensive performances in the game. Tailback Eddie Lacy earned outstanding offensive player honors with 140 yards and two touchdowns - one rushing, one receiving - and freshman T.J. Yeldon ran for 108 yards and plowed through the line for a 1-yard score behind noseguard/goal line fullback Jesse Williams.

Freshman receiver Amari Cooper broke Julio Jones Alabama single-season receiving records, finishing with six catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns to reach 1,000 for the season.

"It was a great game," Jones said. "I loved our balance. I just think this was probably the best overall offensive performance we've had all year."

McCarron as always was pulling the trigger, and maybe he also lit the fuse in that one heated moment.

Not surprisingly, Saban speaks fondly of that kind of passion and intensity.

"AJ is a leader, he's a competitor, he's a fiery guy," the coach said. "I think he has a tremendous amount of respect for the competitors who play around him.

"But I also think that he lets his personality come out, and I think people respect that."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.