Matt James has never dealt with the pressure of picking a wife in front of a national audience, but he is no stranger to performing on a big stage.

Before being cast to star in the new season of ‘The Bachelor’, James was a multi-sport high school standout at Sanderson High School in Raleigh, North Carolina and a Division I athlete.

James participated in football, basketball, and track and field at Sanderson. He starred on the gridiron, registering 716 receiving yards and four touchdowns as a senior before signing with Wake Forest. James also set five school records in five different track and field events.

James’ college football career was mostly hampered by injuries, but the 6-foot-5 wide receiver caught 40 passes for 401 yards as a senior. He finished his career at Wake Forest with 48 receptions and 458 receiving yards.

James was originally cast on ‘The Bachelorette’, but the COVID-19 pandemic altered those plans. Now, he’ll have the chance to pick a wife from 32 contestants as the first Black male lead on ‘The Bachelor.’