Quarterback's girlfriend in spotlight after game

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's routing of Notre Dame for its second straight national championship has been overshadowed in part by a new breakout star — Katherine Webb, girlfriend of quarterback AJ McCarron and Miss Alabama USA 2012.

Webb gained tens of thousands of Twitter followers during and after Monday night's game, when ESPN cameras visited and revisited her in the stands and announcer Brent Musburger piled on the compliments. As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Webb had topped 163,000 followers, trumping McCarron's 110,000. Before the game, Webb — who graduated with a business degree from longtime Alabama rival Auburn University in 2011, according to her pageant biography — reportedly had about 2,000.

"Wow, I'm telling you quarterbacks: You get all the good-looking women," Musburger said as the camera focused on Webb, sitting with McCarron's mother. "What a beautiful woman. Wow!"

Some found the remarks from Musburger, 73, 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."

Webb, a 23-year-old model, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that 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."

Webb said that during the game, her iPhone was dead, but several friends seated nearby showed her what was happening on Twitter and pointed out that pictures of her were being shown on TV.

"I just couldn't believe it," she said. "I was just in complete surprise."

Dee Dee Bonner, McCarron's mother, said the two laughed in the stands 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."

Webb earlier 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. The two visited over the holidays and publicly confirmed their romance right before the New Year.

Webb's pageant biography says she was born in Montgomery and grew up in Phenix City. Webb worked for Chick-fil-A as a training director in Columbus, Ga., before moving to Los Angeles to pursue modeling. She finished in the top 10 in the national pageant.

Bonner said Webb is considering moving back to Alabama to be with the quarterback.

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... (at)10AJMcCarron. Congrats to Alabama and making history! (hash)BCSChamps."

Webb called the experience fun and 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, "(hash)betterkeepdreaming like the rest of these dudes."

____

Associated Press writer John Zenor contributed to this report.

  • Man drives three-wheeled Mustang along a Texas highway 2 hours 57 minutes ago
    Man drives three-wheeled Mustang along a Texas highway

    Some things in life are hard to explain, like why a dentist insists on asking you questions when you clearly can't respond. Or why we call pants "a pair" even though it's just one. Or how about this puzzler: Why a person would drive their Mustang along a Texas highway despite it missing a wheel? Life is full of little mysteries, I guess.

  • How a mom stole a car in under 60 seconds 21 hours ago
    How a mom stole a car in under 60 seconds

    “I didn't steal your car but I think my mom may have. It's a long story. I'll explain, but your car is safe and sound," read the flier posted in Red Hook, Brooklyn. It’s a strange tale that began when Cheyrl Thorpe was asked by her daughter Nekisia Davis to dog sit her Pomeranian at her apartment, according to New York Magazine.

  • All-new 2015 Subaru Outback reestablishes higher ground 23 hours ago
    All-new 2015 Subaru Outback reestablishes higher ground

    Much of Subaru’s modern day success in America can be attributed to one car: the Outback. Born in 1994 as a response to the growing popularity of SUVs, the Outback established a winning formula of combining a high-riding suspension, butch body cladding and big round fog lights to its comfortable, no-nonsense Legacy wagon. It is the kind of unique product that only a quirky company like Subaru could build, and was one that kept Subaru from slipping into ubiquity even as traditional SUVs and crossovers have taken over the world.

  • Singaporeans slam NEA's $120 licence requirement for tissue sellers
    Singaporeans slam NEA's $120 licence requirement for tissue sellers

    Singaporeans on social media reacted angrily to news that tissue sellers at hawker centres and street corners are being required to pay for an annual licence.

  • Heartbreaking texts from students on sinking S. Korea ferry
    Heartbreaking texts from students on sinking S. Korea ferry

    Heart-wrenching messages of fear, love and despair, sent by high school students from a sinking South Korean ferry, added extra emotional weight Thursday to a tragedy that has stunned the nation. Nearly 300 people -- most of them students on a high school trip to a holiday island -- are still missing after the ferry capsized and sank on Wednesday morning. Mom, I love you," student Shin Young-Jin said in a text to his mother that was widely circulated in the South Korean media.

  • Indonesia’s armed forces chief says “no apology” for warship’s name
    Indonesia’s armed forces chief says “no apology” for warship’s name

    General Moeldoko, the head of Indonesia’s Armed Forces, has clarified that he had not apologised for the naming of a warship after two Indonesian marines who had been involved in the 1965 MacDonald House bombing in Singapore.