Clayton Echard may have left Bachelor Nation on last week's episode of The Bachelorette, but he'll be back as the Bachelor sooner than you think.
The former NFL star, 28, will take over as the lead when the next season of The Bachelor premieres in January, putting an end to months of rumors about Clayton landing the role.
In the first teaser for his season, Clayton says, "I'm simply a Midwest guy from Missouri who just wants to find love." "More than anything, I know my future wife is here."
Clayton Echard's First Appearance on The Bachelorette
Clayton first came to the attention of Bachelor Nation when he appeared on Michelle Young's season of The Bachelorette.
Clayton and Michelle, 28, bonded early on over his mother working as a special education teacher.
Despite receiving little screen time during the season, he advanced to the final eight and was given a shot with a one-on-one date during the show's November 23 episode.
Unfortunately, Michelle understood throughout the date that Clayton was not "her person," and she ended the date before the rose ceremony.
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"You've continued to show me how much you want to be the best for your future family. You completely checked every single box of all the qualities I'm looking for in somebody," Michelle explained to Echard at the end of their date. "But I know that giving out this rose means I'm ready to meet your family and I don't feel that I'm able to get there with you in time. And this is incredibly difficult for me because not being able to give you this rose doesn't mean that you're not enough. It's, for me, about following my heart."
Clayton earned his bachelor's degree in 2015 from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences with majors in Spanish and Business. He is pursuing his Master's of Business Administration in Health/Health Care at the moment.
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Currently enrolled in Southeast Missouri State University's virtual classes, Clayton is set to graduate in 2023.
Clayton Echard's Job
Clayton has worked in sales for medical equipment maker Stryker since July 2016, according to his LinkedIn page. He has been based in Columbia since January 2018, after previously working in St Louis.
Stryker, established in Michigan, is "one of the world's premier medical technology businesses, determined to improve health care together with its clients."
According to the business's website, "the company offers innovative products and services in orthopedics, medical and surgical, neurotechnology and spine that help enhance patient and hospital results."