On Tuesday's season premiere, Clare Crawley said she felt like she met her husband after greeting the former NFL player

By Andrea Wurzburger
October 14, 2020 12:00 PM
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First impressions are everything — and Dale Moss nailed it.

After a delay in production due to COVID-19 — and a much-talked about leading lady switcherooClare Crawley's season of The Bachelorette has finally arrived. On Tuesday, fans got their first look at the men vying for Clare's heart and a glimpse at the "shocking season" to come.

During the two-hour premiere, viewers watched as 31 men stepped out of the limo to meet Clare, who was eager to embark upon her fifth attempt at love within the franchise. Amongst the group was Dale, who by far elicited the strongest reaction. We saw Clare, 39, greet Dale, 31, in PEOPLE's exclusive sneak peek, and she was clearly smitten from the start. After getting a big hug from him, she buried her face in her hands and said, "I definitely feel like I just met my husband. I'm shaking!"

Credit: Craig Sjodin/ ABC
Credit: Craig Sjodin/ ABC

Later in the night, he scored the coveted first impression rose. Here's everything you need to know about the frontrunner.

He's a small town boy. 

Dale grew up in Brandon, South Dakota, a small town of approximately 10,000 people. As he explained to Girls Gotta Eat podcast hosts Ashley Hesseltine and Rayna Greenberg, he was "the only Black kid in a very segregated area," and said his late mother's family even disowned her for marrying a Black man.

His parents' love story has inspired him. "40 years through the fire," he wrote on Instagram in honor of their 40th anniversary earlier this year. "When the world said no. They said yes. To love. To family. Thank you for sacrificing so we could live, dream and love."

He played professional football for the NFL. 

Specifically, he was signed with the Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Green Bay Packers. And football runs in the family — his uncle is Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers.

He also played college basketball. 

Dale played for South Dakota State for four years in college, following up his time on the court with a year spent playing football for the university, and then eventually going pro.

He's a global ambassador for the Special Olympics. 

According to the Special Olympics official website, Dale decided in 2015 that he wanted to make the organization his philanthropic endeavor after he watched his sister, Amber, participate in the games when they were growing up. (During Tuesday's episode, he opened up about his sister having underlying health issues while speaking with Clare about her mom, who has Alzheimer's.)

And that's not the end of his philanthropic endeavors. 

He's a model and an influencer. 

Like, a legit model. He's represented by EWG Management and has modeled for brands like Under Armour, Hugo Boss, Express and United Airlines. He also hosts The Game Plan podcast, though the last episode released was back in April 2019.

He's a dog person.

This feels like something that's important to note, if only to highlight this video of him dancing with his dogs.

He credits his late mom and sisters for his success. 

"To this day, my sisters and my mother have shaped me into the man I am," he told Forbes last year. "I've always had strong, powerful women in my life and they've helped me in every aspect. They're part of my team, my core and that's definitely what keeps me grounded."

Which means he's (naturally) looking for a strong woman.

In October 2019, months before he met Clare, Dale opened up to Mindie Kaplan of the MaleRoom podcast about his perfect woman.

In an exclusive clip from the episode, he says, "Honestly it's hard for me to picture my perfect woman. I definitely need someone who is going to call me out on all my B.S. I don't think that conflict is a bad thing, I think it's just where it's coming from, and again, I'm a strong-willed, stubborn person but I've got a big heart. At the same time, I've had strong people in my life throughout. I want someone who I definitely respect."

Clare, for one, definitely doesn't have a problem speaking her mind or demanding respect. In fact, she said as much in a promo for her season. Perfect match much?

The Bachelorette airs Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.

Catch People (the TV Show!) Monday through Friday. Check your local listings for exact times or stream the show every day at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT at People.com and PeopleTV.com.