The show is primarily about trying to find love while the nation watches on TV, and a number of former football players have gone on the show. Let’s power-rank them by the success of their football careers, between the college and pro games.
1. Ryan Sutter, Colorado: Bachelorette 2003
Sutter starred on the first-ever season of The Bachelorette, and got married to Trista Rehn after the show. Sutter, a former walk-on, played safety for Colorado from 1993-97.
During his senior season, he led team in total tackles with 170. As of 2019, he had more special teams tackles (64) than anyone in Buffs history.
Sutter was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the fifth round of the 1998 NFL draft, but getting cut during training camp. He was picked up by the Panthers practice squad, and was active for one game. Tragically, Sutter broke his shoulder on the first kickoff of the game. He then bounced around with the Seahawks, Barcelona Dragons in the NFL Europe, and Saints, but never saw an NFL roster again.
2. Jordan Rodgers, Vanderbilt: Bachelorette 2016
The less successful little brother of Aaron Rodgers and 2016’s Bachelorette winner, Rodgers, a former three-star recruit and the No. 3 pro style QB from the class of 2010, played for Vanderbilt from 2010-12. He transferred to Vandy from his brother’s JUCO alma mater, Butte College, where he played out of high school.
Rodgers’ stats are fine — he threw for 4,063 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 15 touchdowns during his two seasons as Vandy’s primary starter in 2011 and 2012. Notably, he was part of some of the best Vandy teams in school history. In fact, Rodgers was the first quarterback in school history to lead his team to consecutive bowl appearances.
Rodgers turned his victory on the show into an SEC Network football announcer gig too, so hey, respect.
3. Clay Harbor, Missouri State: Bachelorette 2018
Unranked by 247Sports as a recruit in 2006, the tight end accounted for 1,906 receiving yards and five touchdowns over his college career. He earned All-American honors, too.
He spent seven seasons in the NFL, starting with the Eagles, and then spent time with the Jaguars, Patriots, Lions, and Saints. He accounted for 1,170 yards and eight touchdowns during his career, and made 38 starts.
Harbor left Season 14 of The Bachelorette after he tore a ligament in his wrist during a flag football game. But:
I have to thank the whole @BacheloretteABC family for an amazing experience in hindsight I don’t regret my decision to come on and would gladly give my wrist for a chance at love.— Clay Harbor (@clayharbs82) June 12, 2018
4. Jesse Palmer, Florida: Bachelor 2004
OK. I promise I’m not being biased here as a fellow Florida grad, but Palmer had a pretty successful career for the Gators. From 1997-2000 under Steve Spurrier, Palmer threw for 3,755 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions.
Palmer played alongside fellow Gator Doug Johnson, whom Spurrier liked to rotate in a lot at QB.
In 2001, he was drafted by the New York Giants in the fourth round, where he lasted just four seasons, mostly as a backup. He threw for 562 yards, three touchdowns, and four interceptions in eight games. He was signed briefly by the Minnesota Vikings, but retired from football in 2007 to pursue a broadcasting career.
5. Colton Underwood, Illinois State: Bachelorette 2018, Bachelor 2019
Please don’t @ me, ladies. This is a completely fair place to put Colton. He went from a two-star recruit (by Rivals, per his school bio) to a two-time All-American, like it says on his Instagram bio.
During his Redbirds career, he registered 210 total tackles, and finished third in school history with tackles for loss. These numbers are fine, but I’d like to just point out this weird technique I noticed while watching one of his highlight tapes:
After college, the Chargers signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2014, where he only lasted a couple months. He bounced around the Eagles’ and Raiders’ practice squads, but officially retired in 2017 after suffering a shoulder injury in Oakland.
6. Damon Bowers, San Jose State: Bachelorette 2004
Bowers played receiver for SJSU in 1996 before having a pretty successful career in arena ball. He played just one season with the Spartans, in 1996, but caught 36 passes for 676 yards and four touchdowns. He returned punts and kicks for a combined 89 yards, too.
In six seasons in the Arena League, Bowers accounted for 2,120 yards and 27 touchdown receptions, plus another seven rushing TDs. He had 1,743 return yards and four TD returns. Oh, he played defense too! He had 92 total tackles and four interceptions. Bowers gets major points for playing multiple ways.
7. Ryan Hoag, Gustavus Adolphus: Bachelorette 2008, Bachelor Pad 2012
Hoag started his career at Wake Forest to pursue a soccer, then tennis, career before transferring to Division III Gustavus Adolphus College to play football, his first try at playing football full-time. He finished his career there as the school’s all-time leader in receiving yards and touchdown catches.
He was Mr. Irrelevant in the 2003 NFL Draft, and spent six seasons in the NFL, mostly on practice squads, including stints in the CFL and UFL.
“I never had any visions of reality grandeur,” Hoag said when I interviewed him in 2018. “I actually had no intention of going on a show like that, but it kind of fell into my lap. It was terrible, The Bachelorette, so fake and scripted. They try to get you drunk — I’m not a drinker — so they can elicit a response they want, and if they don’t get the response they want, they send you home.”
8. Tyler Cameron, Wake Forest and FAU: Bachelorette 2019
Cameron’s was a former three-star recruit, and the No. 12 dual-threat QB from the class of 2012. He started his career at Wake Forest as a quarterback.
He mostly backed up QBs Tanner Price and John Wolford before transferring to FAU. He switched to tight end during his senior year in 2016, and had 10 catches for 210 yards and a TD, finishing fourth on the team in receptions.
He was signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2017, but suffered a shoulder injury that ended his football career.
9. Daron Blaylock, Kentucky: Bachelorette 2019
Blaylock, a former three-star recruit from the class of 2012, played outside linebacker for the Wildcats from 2012-15, and had 46 tackles in 23 games.
Blaylock didn’t get an NFL opportunity after his Kentucky career ended.
10. Josh Murray, Georgia: Bachelorette 2010
Like Jordan Rodgers, Josh Murray is the less accomplished football sibling in his family. His brother, Aaron, played QB in Athens for four seasons, and was one the the Dawgs’ most prolific passers.
Josh only played safety for a couple years at Georgia, one of those on the scout team in 2009. During his senior season in 2010, he made appearances against Vanderbilt and Idaho State.
Although he did go on to win the TV show, Murray was more talented at baseball. The Brewers drafted him out of high school in the second round in 2002, and he eventually played six seasons in the minor leagues.
11. Sean Lowe, Kansas State: Bachelor 2013
Lowe played linebacker for K-State under Bill Snyder. Coming out of high school, he was a three-star recruit, and the No. 24 inside linebacker prospect from the class of 2002.
Lowe played for Kansas State from 2003-05, but only saw action in four games. This may seem odd given his recruiting rankings, but back in 2002 those weren’t as accurate as they are nowadays. He didn’t pursue an NFL career.
12. Bob Guiney, Michigan State: Bachelorette 2002 and Bachelor 2003
Season 4’s Bachelor was a walk-on at Michigan State in the early 1990s. It doesn’t seem he played or produced much, from a review of old stats books.
13. Adam Gottschalk, Arizona: Bachelorette, Bachelor In Paradise 2017
Gottschalk’s was a member of the team from 2008-11, playing as a backup and scout team safety. He later appeared on Bachelor In Paradise in 2017, where he met former Bachelor contestant Raven Gates, and the two began dating.
However, putting football aside, I have to put him low on this list because of the creepy-ass doll he brought onto the show:
That gets you an automatic demerit on this list.
Leave your Bachelor and Bachelorette football player power rankings hot takes in the comments below!