The Bachelor: Newcomer Clayton Echard to Star in Season 26 (Report)

The Bachelor Clayton Echard

Looks like we know who the next star of The Bachelor will be… even if we don’t know him yet.

ABC’s reality hit has selected Clayton Echard to star in the upcoming Season 26, multiple sources tell our sister site Variety. (ABC has not officially commented on the news.)

If you don’t recognize Echard’s name, that’s because he hasn’t appeared on a Bachelor show yet. He’ll be one of the suitors vying for Michelle Young’s heart on the new season of The Bachelorette, which doesn’t premiere until Oct. 19. Obviously, this news indicates that he doesn’t end up with Michelle, but “producers fell in love with Echard” during filming, Variety reports, and he quickly rose to the top of their list of potential Bachelors.

Not much is yet known about Echard, but he played football at the University of Missouri and spent time with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks during the 2016 preseason.

Earlier this year, the Bachelor rumor mill theorized that Greg Grippo, who appeared on Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette, would be named the next Bachelor. His relationship with Katie ended badly, though, with him walking out on her prior to the finale and her labeling him a liar on her season’s aftershow. (Katie eventually ended up with Blake, and the two got engaged on the season finale.)

What do you think of Clayton Echard, Bachelor Nation? Drop your first impressions in the comments. 

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