Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the university Dale Moss attended. He graduated from South Dakota State University.
Bachelor Nation is abuzz after of the season premiere of “The Bachelorette,” which promises to be, yes, the most dramatic season yet. Fans are already speculating about star Clare Crawley’s potential frontrunners and one man seems to stand out: Dale Moss.
Per his official “Bachelorette” bio, the 32-year-old (who was 31 while filming) is a “small-town boy with big dreams of making an impact on the world.” The Midwestern transplant and former pro NFL player lives in New York, where he works as a model and brand ambassador.
Here’s everything you need to know about “Bachelorette” frontrunner Moss.
South Dakota beginnings
Growing up in Brandon, South Dakota, Moss was the only boy out of five siblings: Robyn, Amber, Jessica and Candace. In his “Bachelorette” bio, Moss credits his mother, who died in 2017, with teaching him to “always follow his passions” and to work hard.
His parents, Delores, who was white, and Dale Sr., who is Black, faced discrimination as an interracial couple when they first started dating as college students, but their relationship taught him that it “all goes back to love,” as he put in in a 2018 interview on the “Girls Gotta Eat” podcast. They were together for 40 years before Delores died.
“To this day, my sisters and my mother have shaped me into the man I am,” Moss told Forbes last year. “I’ve always had strong, powerful women in my life and they’ve helped me in every aspect. They’re part of my team, my core and that’s definitely what keeps me grounded.”
A two-sport athlete with a stint in the NFL
Moss lettered in basketball, football and track and field at Brandon Valley High School in South Dakota, according to his bio from South Dakota State University, where he went on to play basketball for four years and made the transition to the football field his senior year.
After college, Moss signed with the Green Bay Packers in 2012 before joining practice squads for the Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was waived by the Panthers in 2013 and briefly re-signed with the Bears the following year.
“Just happy for the opportunity, and respect the organization for bringing me back in,” Moss said in a text message at the time to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, part of the USA TODAY Network.
Making waves in the big city
Though his “Bachelorette” bio lists his South Dakota hometown, Moss currently lives in New York, where he works as a brand ambassador and model with Wilhelmina International for companies like Boss, Target, Under Armour and Express.
He’s also using his name recognition for good: Moss serves as an ambassador for the Special Olympics, inspired by his sister Amber, who competed through the organization as a child.
“Although his sister no longer participates in Special Olympics, he remembers how much Special Olympics gave to his sister—the opportunity to play sports, building her confidence level, giving her an outlet to make lifelong friends and ultimately, changing the attitudes of their community and how they viewed his sister,” reads his bio on the Special Olympics website.
What to expect on ‘The Bachelorette’
Could Moss be the one for “Bachelorette” star Crawley? In Tuesday night’s episode, Crawley revealed she felt “like I just met my husband” after Moss introduced himself.
He later nabbed the first impression rose, which historically is a good sign on “The Bachelorette” – four of the past five seasons’ first impression rose winners went on to get engaged to the star – though a preview at the end of the episode hints at potential trouble in paradise for the two.
If Moss and Crawley can find their way to a happily-ever-after, Moss would become the first Black man to win “The Bachelorette.” In the show’s off-season, fans petitioned for a more diverse “Bachelor” franchise and ABC responded by casting Matt James as the franchise’s first Black “Bachelor” star and announced last month they would measures to shut down “racism, bullying and hate in all of its forms” on social media. (Crawley also noted Tuesday night how diverse her pool of suitors are).
“I’ve been in different relationships where it was out of the norm for them to date me because I was biracial and things like that, but at the end of the day you have your own life to live and you make your own decisions and you choose love,” Moss told “Girls Gotta Eat.”
Contributing: Danielle Ferguson, Sioux Falls Argus Leader
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