Get to Know Matt James, the Next 'Bachelor' Season 25 Star

Zoe Jewell
Matt James The Bachelor
Craig Barritt/Getty Images for the Delta SkyMiles® American Express Card Portfolio

The Bachelor made history on Friday, June 12 when it announced Matt James as its next leading man, making him the show’s first-ever black male lead.

The big announcement was shared on Good Morning America, as ABC revealed they “have a responsibility” to show representation on-screen. 

The announcement of Matt as the next Bachelor comes just a few days after a number of fans and members of Bachelor Nation signed a petition calling on ABC executives to cast a black Bachelor and cast more contestants of color.

Now that we know who will be our Season 25 Bachelor, it’s time to get to know a little more about Matt. From where he went to school to his close friendship with Bachelorette alum Tyler Cameron, scroll down to learn everything you need to know about the 28-year-old. 

9 Wild 'Bachelor' Moments We Want to See on 'Greatest Seasons – Ever!' (VIDEO)See Also

9 Wild 'Bachelor' Moments We Want to See on 'Greatest Seasons – Ever!' (VIDEO)

Ten episodes aren't enough to cover all the drama from the 'Bachelor' franchise so far!

He Played Football at Wake Forest University

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Matt James (@mattjames919) on


Matt’s originally from North Carolina and he attended Wake Forest University, where he studied economics. He also played wide receiver on the football team and even tried his hand at playing pro for a bit post-college. 

He's Friends With Tyler Cameron

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Matt James (@mattjames919) on


This comes as no surprise to anyone who follows Tyler or Matt on Instagram, but these two are besties. They met while in college and have been inseparable ever since. In fact, Matt and Tyler created ABC Food Tours together, which is an organization that helps kids from underserved communities learn the importance of physical and mental wellness.

He Lives in New York City

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Matt James (@mattjames919) on


After college, Matt moved out to New York to initially pursue a career in modeling. Tyler ended up moving to the Big Apple as well, and now the pair are roomies!

He's a Real Estate Broker and Entrepreneur

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Matt James (@mattjames919) on


Matt is a real estate broker and also an entrepreneur, but it appears that his passion lies with his ABC Food Tours organization. 

He Had a “Feud” With Hannah Brown

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Matt James (@mattjames919) on


It feels like it’s been ages since Hannah Brown was The Bachelorette, but in reality, it was less than one year ago that she chose Jed Wyatt over Tyler. Because Matt is a loyal friend, he went off on Instagram and shared a number of shady Instagram Stories regarding Hannah’s decision. 

Fast-forward 8 months or so, and Hannah and Matt were actually quarantined together — along with Tyler and his family — down in Florida. The pair went on Instagram Live together and revealed they had squashed their “beef” right when they first met, and now they’ve been friends ever since!

He Was Cast on Clare Crawley's Bachelorette Season

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Matt James (@mattjames919) on


Bachelor Nation fans instantly took notice of Matt due to his friendship with Tyler, so it came as no surprise to viewers when he was initially cast on Clare Crawley’s season of The Bachelorette back in March. Of course, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Clare’s season still hasn’t been able to start filming, which ultimately led producers to be able to already cast him as the next leading man. 

Clare Crawley Called Him Out on Twitter

After being announced as one of Clare’s many suitors, it seemed as if the 39-year-old was calling Matt out when she claimed some of her men were only using the TV show for fame. 

"If you are doing interviews and creating Cameo accounts before you are even on my season... you are in it for the wrong reasons... #dontwasteyourtime," she tweeted back in April.

Fans immediately thought she was calling out Matt, who was active on Cameo, but he revealed he was actually on the app in order to raise money for COVID-19 relief.

Clare then later clarified her comments and revealed she wasn’t calling out a specific person. "... it was about MULTIPLE men and a general thought I was having while we sit here in a real life crisis where someone’s (everyone’s) time + sincerity hold so much weight and value," she shared.

The Bachelor, Season 25, Coming 2021, ABC