Keep your rosé chilled and Twitter at the ready, because The Bachelorette returns Monday, May 28 on ABC. Becca Kufrin, is heroically returning for round two after getting publicly dumped by Arie Luyendyk Jr. last season on The Bachelor, and luckily for her, she has a veritable cornucopia of guys to choose from this time around — and several of them are former professional athletes. Per the ABC website, Colton Underwood from The Bachelorette played professional football, but it doesn't go into details about his team.
First of all, it's important to note that football is in the retired athlete's DNA. Per his official bio, Colton was named after the Indianapolis Colts and is from Denver, Colorado. The 26-year-old played football at Illinois State, where he was a business management major, according to the San Diego Chargers website. Not only that, but his father and brother also played ball at Illinois State.
However, after playing in college, the athlete was signed to several different teams before ultimately retiring in 2016, according to Sports Illustrated. Colton was first signed to the San Diego Chargers in May 2014, where he was an undrafted free agent. A few months later, he moved to the Philadelphia Eagles, then back to the San Diego Chargers and finally to the Oakland Raiders, all where he served as a practice squad member. Unfortunately, Colton never played an NFL game, which must have been disappointing.
But it seems like Colton is doing well for himself and has kept busy with his charity work. While he was still playing in the NFL, the athlete founded the Colton Underwood Legacy Project, which provides support for cystic fibrosis patients. Cystic fibrosis, or CF, is a genetic disease, which primarily affects the lungs and makes it difficult for patients to breathe, per the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
According to the below Legacy Foundation promo, Colton founded the organization because of his young cousin, Harper, who suffers from CF. So far, the non-profit has raised nearly $100,000, per the charity's website. Recently, the former linebacker went on tour to present CF patients in different states with AffloVests — a vest which helps them breathe.
If all of that doesn't sound heartwarming enough, Colton also has a dog named Sniper, whom he regularly declares his love for on Instagram. In fact, a good portion of both his Instagram and Twitter posts feature either his dog or involve a general declaration of his love for dogs. Colton's other Instagrams are either thirst traps, him playing football, or him with kids.
However, Colton's main claim to fame is that he dated the Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, who he asked out in a Yahoo! Sports video back in August 2016. The duo had mutual friends: Andrew East, Colton's Oakland Raiders teammate, and Olympian Shawn Johnson, to whom East is married. "If you're ever in San Jose and want to go on a double date with me and Andrew and Shawn, let me know," Colton said in the video. "They've actually told me about him before," Raisman responded after watching his message, per Elle. "He's very cute."
The two athletes broke up in August 2017, per the Peoria Journal Star. “We’re taking a break right now,” Colton said. “We’re still good friends and talk, but all that travel had been a nightmare.” The former football player went on to say, "It put a lot of pressure on us, sure, but we had fun with it. A lot of fun date nights." Luckily for both it them, it sounds like things ended amicably. In fact, in November 2017, when Raisman accused former U.S. Gymnastics Team doctor, Larry Nassar, of sexual assault, Colton tweeted his support. "You are the definition of strong, courageous and a role model for EVERYONE," he wrote. (Nassar pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct and was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison, according to CNN.)
It will be interesting to see whether Becca responds to Colton's heart of gold and penchant for dogs or if she's had enough of professional athletes for one lifetime, thanks to Arie.