Clayton Echard, from Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette, is set to be the lead of The Bachelor Season 26.
He made it to Michelle’s top eight but she sent him home during a one-on-one date just ahead of the hometown dates.
Clayton may not have made it to the final four but he did make a lasting impression on some viewers.
Some were impressed with how he carried himself on his last episode of the series while others were less impressed.
Some believe that other contestants like Rodney, Olu or Brandon should’ve been chosen as The Bachelor.
Regardless, Clayton is set in stone as The Bachelor lead. Filming started at the end of September, immediately after Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette, and it has already wrapped.
Jesse Palmer will be the host this season and it’s set to premiere in the new year on Monday, January 3.
Since some viewers may feel like they didn’t have enough of a chance to get to know Clayton on Michelle’s season of The Bachelorette, here are five things you need to know about the new lead.
Clayton was once an NFL player
Before his time on The Bachelorette, Clayton had a career as an NFL player.
Clayton started his football career at the University of Missouri as a tight end. He played on the Tigers from 2012-2015.
He then was drafted on the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent. While he didn’t end up making the official cut, he did practice with the team and played four pre-season games.
Clayton has big career aspirations
After ending his journey in football, Clayton became a medical sales rep. Clayton has made it clear that his career is important to him and he admires ambition.
According to his ABC bio, he aspires to open and own several gyms one day. It’s safe to say Clayton has a passion for health and fitness and wants to share that with others.
When discussing what he admired most about Michelle, he stated that he loved how passionate she was about her career.
It’s likely that whoever he ends up with on The Bachelor, if anyone, will be just as ambitious.
Clayton is great with children
Those who watched The Bachelorette know that Clayton is great with children. During his final week on the show, Michelle’s fifth-grade students planned all of the dates.
Four of her students met the men to decide who they think Michelle should go on a one-on-one date with.
While the men were game for interacting with the kids, Clayton took it to the next level by engaging in their interests.
He offered to help the kids build a fort. He then sat in it with them and truthfully answered their questions — even the silly ones like if he has farted in front of Michelle.
The kids commended him for his fort-building abilities and his strong arms which would be good for carrying in the groceries.
The kids ended up picking Clayton for the one-on-one date and even after Michelle sent him home, the kids left him letters telling him how much they liked him.
It’s clear that Clayton is great with kids and is looking to be a father of his own.
Clayton Echard is a family man
In addition to wanting his own family, Clayton also values the family and friends that he already has.
His Instagram page is filled with pictures of quality time spent with family on holidays like Thanksgiving and fun times with friends.
He also stated that one of his favorite things about Michelle was that she was a teacher like his mom.
He stated on the show that he had a close relationship with his parents and aspires to have a relationship like theirs one day.
Perhaps he’ll find that on The Bachelor.
Clayton is looking for four qualities in a woman
Clayton knows what he wants in a woman and in his ABC bio, he listed four of the most important qualities that he’s looking for in a woman.
He stated that he wants to find someone who is “funny, independent, intelligent and athletic enough to join him at the gym for a workout.”
It makes sense that he was a contender for Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette, considering she is all four of those things.
It’s likely that the woman whom he may give a final rose to will have all of these qualities.
Viewers will have to tune into his season to see Clayton ends up with anyone (or check out Monsters & Critics’ spoilers here.)
The Bachelor returns to ABC on Monday, January 3, 2022.