For Clare Crawley, the moment she met the man of her dreams can best be described as love at first sight.
At least that's what it looked like during the highly-anticipated season 16 premiere of The Bachelorette on Tuesday, Oct. 13. After months of speculation, the first episode certainly teased what Bachelor Nation had been buzzing about: Clare finds the one (almost) immediately.
Despite rotating through an attractive (and at times silly) lineup of men, Clare, 39 appeared visibly shook when she first laid eyes on Dale Moss, a tall, dark and handsome 32-year-old former football player from South Dakota who sparked her attention when he stepped out of the limo.
After swooping in with a big hug for Clare ("I'm a hugger," he told her), she welcomed him and said, "I needed this so bad!" He then added, "My name's Dale. I really do feel this is gonna be special." Right after he walked away, Clare caught her composure and, almost breathless, said, "I definitely feel like I just met my husband. I'm shaking!"
The moment was so surprising that Chris Harrison himself stepped onto the scene, asking Clare for clarification. "Every other guy I felt confident with, but with Dale, everything else went dark around me. I don't even know what I just said," she told him. "I felt everything that I haven't felt ever."
She continued, "I just felt it. I just know. I'm 39. You know these things. I know what I want. I know when I feel that feeling. Obviously I'd love to meet everybody, but man."
Later in the episode, Clare asked Dale to step aside, handing him the first impression rose. "I've talked to so many men and you're the one I still wanna keep talking to. And I feel like as much as we talked, I want more of that, I absolutely want more of that," Clare told Dale. He of course accepted, telling her "I'm so nervous!" before planting a kiss.
"To have this first impression rose and just know that I'm gonna be able to spend more time with Clare—that's huge," Dale then said. "Even though it was in one night we connected on so many different levels."
As multiple sources told E! News in August, Clare will be replaced by Bachelor in Paradise alum Tayshia Adams at some point this season. And Dale could very much be at the center of that unprecedented twist. So what's the deal with the guy that first captured Clare's attention? Below, everything we know about him.
He's a former NFL player.
After stepping up as wide receiver at South Dakota State University (SDSU), Moss joined the practice teams for NFL giants like the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Fun fact: he actually received a full ride SDSU scholarship to play basketball, not football.
In a February 2019 interview with Forbes, Dale said he "never regretted" stepping away from football: "I'm exactly where I'm meant to be and I'm the happiest I've ever been."
Also on his resume? Model and entrepreneur.
If those dreamy eyes and chiseled abs didn't give it away, Moss knows how to work the camera. He is currently signed with EWG Management. "As a model I've had the privilege of being featured in global campaigns with leading fashion & fitness brands and I'm only getting started," his website bio states.
In addition, his modeling and media experience has helped him score gigs as a creative consultant with brands like Under Armour, Hugo Boss, Express and United Airlines. And according to his LinkedIn profile, he's also the founder of Moss Martin Media, a "video production and creative agency working with some of the world's top sports, fitness, fashion and lifestyle brands." Impressive.
Dale is a former podcast host.
Though he hasn't shared a new episode in over a year, he served as host of The Game Plan with Dale Moss, where he discussed "achieving personal and business growth" with athletes and industry insiders.
He also has a passion for helping others.
In addition to working with The Tiger Woods Foundation, Wounded Warriors Project and NFL Play 60 on what he calls "philanthropic endeavors," Dale is also a Special Olympics Global Ambassador. His older sister, Amber, has an intellectual disability and is physically disabled, which is why it's a cause so dear to his heart.
He knows exactly what he's looking for in the one.
During an interview with MaleRoom in August, Moss discussed the qualities he looks for in a woman. "There definitely has to be that attraction or almost that feeling of ‘Damn, is she out of my league? Like, is she too much for me?'" he said. "I meet a lot of women on the outside who you would think would get that feeling, but the substance or some other things might not be there."
Ultimately, Moss boiled down his definition of chemistry to this: "If your energy, you carry yourself with confidence and you connect and have a conversation, you can see it into their soul, you can really get a good feel."
Like Clare, he's experienced loss.
As Bachelor Nation knows, Clare's father died of brain cancer in 2004 when she was just 23 years old. In an Instagram post from 2019, Dale shared a tribute to his mother, who died unexpectedly in 2017.
"For those who don't know my mother passed away a little over a year and a half ago unexpectedly and it was an earth shattering moment for our entire family and many in our community. I'm very private with my personal life but wanted to share some perspective that helped me tremendously through this time," he wrote. "So many people in the world never get the chance to experience what I have & I was fortunate enough to have that for 29 years of my life."
He's from Brandon, South Dakota but lives in New York City.
During an interview with the Midso Sports Network in June, before filming for The Bachelorette began, Moss opened up about returning to South Dakota after the start of shutdowns related to the coronavirus.
"I live in the heart of Manhattan, so when they say lockdown, the pandemic, it definitely hits home," Moss said. "This is the most time I've spent with my family since I was in high school. I love it." He added, "I love where I grew up and I couldn't be more proud of it."
He is biracial.
In a 2015 interview with The Odyssey Online, Dale opened up about his race and how it impacted his childhood. "My dad is Black and my mom is white so we dealt with a lot of racial tension," he said. "My mom's side of the family disowned her for marrying a black man."
According to that interview, he learned his basketball skills from his mother, who played in high school and college. He said, "I was good and my skills caught the attention of the other families in the neighborhood when I was in middle school, and that's when the town started to accept my family.
Earlier this month, Clare told People she "wanted a guy who was genuinely there for me." And considering Dale appears to be an emphatic family man, he just might be that guy.
The Bachelorette airs every Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.