Is Clayton Echard the next star of “The Bachelor“? On September 15, 2021, rumors began swirling that Clayton, who is set to appear on Michelle Young’s season of “The Bachelorette,” inked a deal with producers to hand out roses next. A short while later, Reality Steve confirmed this news on his Instagram account.
According to E! News, there are a couple of reasons that Clayton’s name was tossed into the ring of potential leads. For starters, a source told the outlet that someone appeared to be filming an intro or a teaser for the new season — and that person had the initials “C.E.”
Clayton, a 28-year-old orthopedic sales representative, is the only person on Michelle’s season with those initials. Moreover, filming was happening in Missouri — and Clayton calls Eureka, Missouri, home, according to E!
Clayton does appear to have quite a backstory, which is what the producers of the bachelor are rumored to have connected with when it came to the decision of choosing the next “Bachelor” star.
According to Reality Steve, filming will begin in Los Angeles next week.
Here’s what you need to know:
Clayton Used to Play Football & Did a Stint in the NFL
According to his Instagram bio, Clayton used to play football — and he was once a rapper, apparently. “Former freestyle rapper and washed-up athlete,” his bio reads, in part.
Clayton played football in college, starting off as a defensive lineman his freshman year at Missouri University. He transitioned into a tight end, a position that he played throughout the rest of his college career, according to the Missouri University Tigers’ website.
After college, Clayton went undrafted. However, in 2016, Clayton inked a deal to join an NFL team. The Seattle Seahawks signed him, and he “took part in Seattle’s rookie minicamp as a tryout player,” according to the Seahawks’ official website.
Clayton never made his official NFL debut, however, and his post-college football career was fairly short-lived.
“After outperforming 4 other tight ends on a tryout basis with the Seattle Seahawks, I signed on as a free agent. While there, I practiced daily with the team and played in 4 preseason games. I made it past the first round of cuts, however, I was not able to make the final roster. Nonetheless, it was a unique experience that I was blessed to be a part of,” he wrote on his LinkedIn account.
Clayton Calls His Job ‘Challenging, yet Rewarding,’ & Has Been With the Same Company for More Than 5 Years
Clayton traded in a career in the NFL for a job in orthopedic sales. According to his LinkedIn account, he has worked for Styker for more than five years.
“Currently, I work as a Full-Line Sales Representative with Stryker Orthopedics and am very excited to continue working in an industry that is both challenging, yet rewarding,” his LinkedIn bio reads.
Clayton is currently in graduate school, hoping to obtain his Masters in Business Administration.
“When I am not spending time in the OR, working on my MBA and/or working out, I enjoy hiking and biking on the nature trails around the Columbia area. I make it my duty to emphasize living a healthy lifestyle, therefore I exercise daily and am in the process of learning to cook healthy meals that also surprisingly have flavor,” he wrote, adding that he also enjoys practicing speaking Spanish.
Clayton has also done a great deal of volunteer work while he was in college, according to his LinkedIn.