‘Bachelor’ Season 23: Did Colton Underwood Really Play Football In the NFL?

Season 23 of The Bachelor stars Colton Underwood. Fans of the dating show franchise know him from Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette as well as Bachelor in Paradise. ABC noted that before his reality TV days, Underwood was an NFL player so naturally, viewers have been Googling his stats but are coming up empty  Well, there’s a surprising reason for that.

Here’s the real scoop on his NFL career as well as a few things about the current bachelor that you may not have known about.

Colton Underwood

Colton Underwood | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The truth about his NFL career

Underwood played college football at Illinois State University. As a linebacker, he registered 215 tackles in 45 games for the Redbirds, however, he went undrafted in 2014.

In May of that year, he signed with the then-San Diego Chargers’ practice squad but was waived by the team in August. He then joined the Philadelphia Eagles‘ practice squad in September but was released a few days later. Underwood went back to the Chargers’ practice squad and was waived in 2015. Finally, he signed with the Oakland Raiders’ practice squad on December 1, 2015. The team cut him in August 2016.

Underwood never actually played a down of football in the professional league since he never made a regular-season NFL roster.

Underwood owned a restaurant

Underwood didn’t play in any NFL games, but he did offer fans a place to watch the matchups every Sunday at his sports bar. He previously owned 4th & Goal Grill in Washington, Illinois, which he opened in 2016. However, in 2018, due to his busy schedule with The Bachelorette, he sold the establishment to his aunt and uncle, Sherrie and Geoff Lucas.

When the couple took over operations they renamed the eatery Brickhouse BBQ and debuted a new menu featuring home-style barbecue dishes.

Underwood dated a famous Olympian

Ali Raisman Colton Underwood

Colton Underwood and Aly Raisman | Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Underwood began dating gymnast Aly Raisman in 2016 after he sent the Olympian a video congratulating her on her accomplishments.

The pair made their red carpet debut at the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Ceremony later that year. In the summer of 2017 though he said in an interview that they were no longer together but had remained close.

“We’re still good friends and talk, but all that travel had been a nightmare,” he explained. “It put a lot of pressure on us, sure, but we had fun with it. A lot of fun date nights. Those six months were great.”

More recently Underwood reflected on their breakup saying, “While it was confusing and hard in the beginning, it also taught me a lot about myself–what I need, what I want, what I can do better in a relationship. It was a big step for me. It was really tough.”

Underwood has a foundation

Being part of The Bachelor franchise has given Underwood a platform to highlight some things near and dear to his heart like the non-profit Colton Underwood Legacy Foundation, which he founded to assist those living with cystic fibrosis.

Underwood’s cousin, Harper, suffers from the disease and she is the reason he started the foundation. Its mission is to “empower people with cystic fibrosis to dream big and live life fully while managing their health and medical challenges.”

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