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There have been plenty of CFL players who have been in star roles on reality TV dating shows, from Jesse Palmer to Brad Smith to Stevie Baggs, but it's more unusual to see someone depart the league and then turn up as a contestant on a reality TV show. That's what happened with former B.C. Lions' quarterback Jordan Rodgers, who abruptly left the team last May after going through minicamp and indicated he wanted to work in television, then was pretty off the radar until he was announced as a contestant on ABC's The Bachelorette this May. Rodgers then received the final rose on that show's finale Monday night, and is now engaged to Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher. That saw him receive congratulations from the NFL's Twitter account, complete with a video of his college highlights (Rodgers had brief stints with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins, but never got into a NFL game; he never got into a CFL game either, signing with B.C.'s practice squad in October 2014 but then leaving the team in May 2015):
— NFL (@NFL) August 2, 2016
No such congratulations were immediately forthcoming from the CFL's Twitter account as of Monday night, but some of Rodgers' former teammates in B.C. had some interesting things to say about him earlier this year. Here's what they told Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week:
“I didn’t know I’d see him on the Bachelorette a year later, but it didn’t shock me that I did,” said [B.C. QB Travis] Lulay, noting Rodgers’ quick wit and sense of humour will help in his quest for JoJo Fletcher’s hand in marriage.
“He’s made for TV and, shoot, he came out with a big start, so you never know. The little bit I was around him, I think people understood he was good with the ladies.”
...“Part of the reason he left right before training camp last year is because he thought he had a good opportunity with FOX Sports or some sports outlet in L.A.,” Lulay said of Rodgers, who had a cameo appearance in Pitch Perfect 2.
“He had that way about him and, yeah, he had the hair going on. When the announcement came that he was going to be on the Bachelorette, we were all kind of chatting about it. We’ve been following along.”
...“I think he’s a frontrunner and I think he’s going to do pretty well,” said [kicker Richie] Leone, who has texted Rodgers to let him know he’s following along. “That’s so him. He’s definitely got the personality and the swag and all that adds up to him being a good reality TV star.”
...“A couple of the guys are talking about it and I’m hearing a couple stories,” said Greg McGhee, a second-year QB who was around for Rodgers’ cup of coffee in B.C.
“It’s pretty funny hearing a couple stories. That’s what they say — he’s a ladies' man and he loves the camera, so he’s in a perfect place for what he wants to do.”
Lulay even famously parroted Rodgers' hair flip in a video the Lions (and later Rodgers himself) posted to Instagram last year:
So, it looks like Rodgers has found some of that success on TV he was hoping for, and there may be more ahead if he's able to parlay this into a broadcasting job. Hey, it worked out for Jesse Palmer...