TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A day after ESPN cameras lingered on her, announcers piled on compliments and at least one pro athlete made an online pass at her, Twitter was still abuzz Tuesday about former Miss Alabama Katherine Webb, who is dating Crimson Tide championship quarterback AJ McCarron.
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. For her part, the surprised beauty pageant queen isn't taking it too seriously.
"It's been actually kind of fun," the 23-year-old model and Miss Alabama USA 2012 told The Associated Press.
She said at the time it all started, she was oblivious in the stands, sitting near McCarron's mother. Her iPhone had died so she didn't know about the attention until 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 Phenix 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... (at)10AJMcCarron. Congrats to Alabama and making history! (hash)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, "(hash)betterkeepdreaming like the rest of these dudes."
Associated Press writer John Zenor contributed to this report.