Katherine Webb was crowned Miss Alabama USA in January of 2012, but it was her appearance at Monday's BCS title game that shot her to fame on the internet. While panning the audience, ESPN newscasters' focused in on Webb, who is dating Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, and, more specifically, Webb's good looks.
It was this awkward exchange between announcers Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit that has led to the large spike in followers on Webb's twitter page (the number of followers rose from a little over 2,000 to over 254,000) and thousands of calls from adoring fans.
It also elicited an apology on behalf of ESPN for the inappropriate comments by their newscasters.
Webb's parents, Alan and Leslie Webb, live in Phoenix City, Alabama. The rise to fame was a shock to Katherine, her father explains to Daily MailOnline, "We were at my mother's home, watching the game, and we saw what was happening. Katherine called at half-time and we told her and she said 'No way, are you joking?'"
Alan also noted, however, that Webb's height-she is 5 feet 11 inches- was not always seen in a favorable light: "Katherine was always very tall, even at a young age and taller than her classmates, and whenever you're different it's difficult. They would make fun of her."
Webb remembers, "I was always the tallest in my class and classmates teased me for being awkward and lanky." Now, as a model, Webb's height is a great asset for her.
It was not only her height that the kids picked on, Alan elaborated, but also Webb's case of Vitiligo, a discoloring skin disorder that also plaqued Michael Jackson: "That was about the worst part of it. People noticed and called her out on it." Thankfully, though, the skin condition is under control and not life-threatening.
Webb has three siblings, an older brother David, 26 and a younger set of twins, Laurie and Matthew, 19. Alan views the family's Christian faith as an important part of their lives, informing the Daily MailOnline, "We have had to rely on our beliefs and our faith in God to hope that all our children would realize their potential and that any weaknesses or problems would be worked out."
Alan's trust in his daughter's decisions is clear, as he notes how she turned down an offer to appear in Playboy.
He also commented that Webb discussed being in Sports Illustrated with him, "She mentioned it but I said 'It's cool just as long as it's not the swimsuit issue' and she said 'I assure you dad-it's not.'" We are left to wonder how dad will feel once he hears that his daughter's appearance in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition has been confirmed via SI's twitter feed.