On the most recent season of the popular reality TV series "The Bachelorette," one of the winners was Dale Moss, a former college football wide receiver who had some tryouts and held a practice squad spot for a few NFL teams.
On the current season of "The Bachelor" -- the reality TV series that spawned the "Bachelorette" spin-off -- the star of the show is Matt James, a former college football wide receiver who tried out for the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers in 2015.
Matt James is making history as the first Black man to be cast as "The Bachelor" in the show's 18-year history.
Like more than a few men who have appeared on "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette" in the past, Matt James played football at a high level and flirted with making an NFL roster.
From 2010-14, Matt James played football at Wake Forest University. The 6-foot-5 wide receiver caught 40 passes for 401 yards in his senior season. His best game was against Army, when he caught nine balls for 67 yards. Wake Forest went 3-9 in Matt James' senior year -- that Army game was one of their rare victories -- under head coach Dave Clawson.
Wake Forest's starting quarterback that year was John Wolford, who just started his first NFL game for the Los Angeles Rams in Week 17 of this NFL season. Wolford led the Rams to a victory that clinched a playoff spot for the team.
Wolford's backup on that 2014 Wake Forest team was redshirt freshman quarterback Tyler Cameron, who is still friends with Matt James. Cameron is a former contestant on "The Bachelorette."
Matt James before 'The Bachelor'
In the 2015 NFL Draft, Matt James was not one of the 34 wide receivers selected. (The first was current Dallas Cowboys star Amari Cooper; the last was seventh-round pick Tre McBride, who played for the Tennessee Titans and Chicago Bears over three seasons.)
The undrafted Matt James went to the New Orleans Saints' rookie mini-camp as a free agent, but he was cut before training camp. James then tried out for the Carolina Panthers but he didn't make that team either.
After football, Matt James took his economics degree and began working for a real estate and investment firm in New York City. He and Tyler Cameron also run a non-profit organization called ABC Food Tours that serves children suffering from hunger.Published 05 Jan 2021, 13:51 IST