ABC has reportedly found its newest suitor for The Bachelor season 26, and he’s a very new face in Bachelor Nation. Clayton Echard, who was a contestant on Michelle Young‘s season of The Bachelorette, has apparently scored the gig.

Clayton, 28, reportedly beat out fan-favorites from Katie Thurston‘s recent Bachelorette season, including Greg Grippo, Andrew Spencer and Michael Allio for the coveted title of The Bachelor.

Clayton Echard Is the 2022 Bachelor! Meet Season 26's New Leading Man: Age, Job and More
Courtesy of Clayton Echard/Instagram

The Missouri native was reportedly seen shooting promos in his hometown for what was believed to be his upcoming season, photos circulating on social media showed. Variety said that “multiple sources” confirmed to the publication that Clayton is ABC’s choice, but the network was staying hush-hush about the announcement.

Usually, the new Bachelor or Bachelorette is named during the show’s After the Final Rose special, which for Michelle’s season, would come sometime in December after she handed out her final rose to who is likely her new fiancé. ABC doesn’t comment on casting rumors.

Tayshia Adams, who is co-hosting Michelle’s Bachelorette season, is all in favor of Clayton if he officially gets the nod.

“If it were to be him, truthfully, he was very personable,” she told Entertainment Tonight on September 21. “He seems super fun. I think he’d be a great Bachelor. He was someone that really had fun with all of the dates. I think if it is him, you’re in for a little treat.”

It appears he’s quite the catch with his ABC bio pointing to his “good looks, great job and wonderful family.”

“The only thing missing is the perfect woman with whom to share his life,” Clayton’s bio continued, adding that he wants to find a romance that will “last forever.”

As far as his “dream woman,” the former football player is looking for someone who is “funny, independent, intelligent and athletic enough to join him at the gym for a workout.”

Clayton sure fits the bill of what a hunky Bachelor should look like. His page is filled with plenty of shirtless photos showing off his incredible six-pack abs. He noted, “Always good to be home,” in a 2019 Labor Day photo from Lake Saint Louis, Missouri, where he was hanging out with friends and family while boating … shirtless!

He’s a tall drink of water, as in nearly all his photos with other people, Clayton towers over everyone else. The hunk power lifts to keep his muscular physique and noted in one post that he needs to consume 6,000 calories per day to maintain his energy and nutrition. Per his Instagram, Clayton played football for the University of Missouri. The tight end was signed to the Seattle Seahawks in 2016 as an undrafted rookie. His stats were listed at a hunky 6’4”, 261 lbs. He took part in Seattle’s rookie minicamp as a tryout player.

Clayton’s best friend appears to be his brother Nate, as they are seen in numerous photos together. It seems Nate lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Clayton has enjoyed trips to the Valley of the Sun to visit … and hike shirtless! Nate is just as handsome as his brother, which should make for some hot hometown visits if Clayton is indeed the new Bachelor!