‘The Bachelor’: Did Matt James or Tyler Cameron Get More Playing Time as a College Football Player?

Last week, fans of The Bachelor got big news when the show announced its first-ever black male lead, Matt James. While James has not yet been on any of the shows within The Bachelor franchise, some fans are familiar with him because of his friendship with Tyler Cameron, who starred on Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette.

'The Bachelor' Tyler Cameron and Matt James
(L-R) Tyler Cameron and Matt James attend the Todd Snyder show during New York Fashion Week in February. | Dominik Bindl/Getty Images

James and Cameron actually both played college football, and they both spent time playing for Wake Forest. So, of the two, which one got more playing time in their college football career?

Matt James was at Wake Forest for five years

James, a wide receiver, was first a part of the Wake Forest football program in 2010, but he redshirted that season, according to Wake Forest’s team site.

He then played in eight games off the bench in his second year at Wake Forest, and ultimately caught three passes for 15 yards on the season. James then played in three games in 2012 but broke his collarbone and missed the rest of the year, according to Wake Forest.

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He again missed time in 2013 due to injury, playing in just four games, and he ultimately caught just four passes for 39 yards on the season. 

Finally, in 2014, though, James found success as he played in nine games, catching 40 passes for 401 yards. For his career, James played in 24 games, according to his Wake Forest bio. 

Tyler Cameron played at Wake Forest and Florida Atlantic

Cameron spent time at Wake Forest from 2012 through 2014, according to his bio on Florida Atlantic’s team site

After redshirting in 2012, Cameron played in three games in 2013 as he was the team’s backup quarterback. He completed 7-of-his-24 passes on the year for 85 yards and three interceptions. Cameron then appeared in three games for Wake Forest again in 2014, completing 10-of-his-16 passes for 55 yards.

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In the spring of that school year, though, Cameron graduated and then joined Florida Atlantic in June, according to his bio.

He then ultimately moved to tight end in 2015 at Florida Atlantic, and he played in 12 games, catching 21 passes for 257 yards. His last year at Florida Atlantic was in 2016. Cameron also played in 12 games that year and caught 20 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown. 

So, Cameron ultimately played in more total games in his college football career. He appeared in 30 combined at Wake Forest and Florida Atlantic, according to his bio. However, James might have played in more games had he been healthy in 2012 and 2013. 

James is the first black lead of ‘The Bachelor’

James was initially supposed to be on the cast for Clare Crawley’s season of The Bachelorette. However, Crawley’s season was postponed due to COVID-19, and after that, the show started considering him for the next Bachelor

James was officially announced as the next Bachelor on June 12.

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“Matt has been on our radar since February, when producers first approached him to join Bachelor Nation, as part of Clare’s season,” ABC Entertainment president, Karey Burke, said in a statement. “When filming couldn’t move forward as planned, we were given the benefit of time to get to know Matt and all agreed he would make a perfect bachelor.”

The announcement came after a group of Bachelor alums petitioned to have a person of color be the lead of the show. Now, with James as the lead, he is hoping that viewers “see that diverse love stories are beautiful.”

“It’s an honor. I’m just going to lean into myself and how my mom raised me,” James recently said on Good Morning America. “Hopefully, when people invite me into their homes on Monday night, they’re going to see that I’m not much different from them.”