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/ Source: TODAY
By Randee Dawn

Bachelor Nation, there's big news. Former NFL player Colton Underwood has been tapped as the man of the hour for "The Bachelor's" upcoming 23rd season.

Underwood, who appeared on the 14th season of ABC's "The Bachelorette" as well as "Bachelor in Paradise," is ready to find love.

"I'm very excited," he told People magazine. "I'm so grateful. I can't tell you how much I've been smiling."

The 26-year-old sparked conversation when, in week seven of "The Bachelortette" with Becca Kufrin, he revealed he was a virgin.

"It's something that I don't talk about very often and something that only a handful of people know," he wrote on Instagram in July. "I considered it a gift and a curse for many years, but finally have come to terms about standing up for who I am and the details that make me, me."

Kufrin ultimately eliminated Underwood after the hometown dates the following week.

Colton Underwood
Colton Underwood and Becca Kufrin on "The Bachelorette."ABC

But you can't shake Underwood off that easily. He went on to appear in the "Bachelor in Paradise," during which he dated Tia Booth, who he met briefly in casting, before meeting Kufrin.

Outside of the world of reality TV, Underwood reportedly dated Olympic gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman during parts of 2016 and 2017.

In January, he'll take the spotlight as the show's suitor.

"This is the perfect time in my life to do this," he told People. "I'm so unbelievably happy with myself and now I can focus on finding my wife. I'm so excited to find that. My heart is 100 percent healed and I'm going to give this my all. And hopefully I'll come out of it engaged!"

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