The Truth About Bachelorette Contestant Rodney Mathews

Michelle Young missed out on a shot at love during Matt James' season of "The Bachelor." However, Bachelor Nation did not give up on her after she came incredibly close to securing her happily ever after (via Variety). Instead, they gave her a second chance and made her the star of the 18th season of "The Bachelorette." This time around she had a crew of men vying to win her heart. That included the likes of Clint Eastwood's grandson LT Murray. However, one of the standouts this season has been Rodney Mathews.

The 29-year-old sales rep hails from Rancho Cucamonga, California and described himself as "a glass-half-full kind of guy" in his bio (via ABC). "He says life would be better if there was someone he loved waiting for him at home every night," he wrote. "Rodney knows exactly what he wants and he is looking for someone who has that clear vision too — he's done wasting time and is ready to be wifed-up."

Clearly, Mathews — who is afraid of opossums (relatable) and being catfished — resonated with Young. He and fellow competitors Brandon Jones, Joe Colman, and Nayte Olukoya were part of a remarkable first in the franchise's history: They made up the only final four so far to be entirely comprised of men of color (via Variety). How did Mathews win over Young? Read on to learn more!

Family is important to Rodney Mathews

On Instagram, Rodney Mathews' bio listed family as one of the things he holds closest to his heart. That appears to check out. He seems particularly close with his mom Carrie, according to Bustle, who he penned an adorable post for on her birthday back in 2019. "You are my real life Wonder Woman and I'm so thankful to be your son," he wrote (via Instagram). "From being a single mom working three jobs to running your own business I couldn't be more proud of you. Thank you for showing me how to grind and make it thru life." Last year, he also shared a sweet message for his brother Royal's birthday (via Instagram).

Michelle Young was able to meet Mathew's parents during an episode of "The Bachelorette." His mom proved just how much of a protective superhero she was by telling her son that she was worried he'd have his heart broken. He had the best response: "I look at Michelle and I think she's worth the risk" (via Daily Mail). 

Young, meanwhile, shared some family advice from her own. "My parents have talked to me a lot about the person that you end up with," she said. "They should be your best friend. And Rodney could clearly be that person." Based on that it is clear that family is important to both of them, which is an obvious shared bond. Here's another.

Rodney Mathews was a student athelete

Family is one central facet of Rodney Mathews' life; football is another. That's easy to see after peeking at his Instagram. What you may be surprised to learn is that he had some serious game on the field himself. So much so that the former player was able to make it on the team at Fresno State. Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury that left him sidelined. It also brought an end to his hopes to make it into the NFL (via ScreenRant). Even though he can't play anymore, the sport appears to play a large part of his life.

Michelle Young was also a college athlete. After an impressive run in high school, she went on to play basketball for Bradley University. The baller went on to win several awards and honorable mentions, according to ScreenRant. Basketball went on to play a role in her season of "The Bachelorette." After one episode, Mathews hopped on Instagram to brag about a particularly challenging shot he made during a game called Shoot Your Shot. "Luckiest shot of my life," he bragged.

Talk about a solid and shared passion for athletics, which can only make a relationship stronger! Not that it seemed like Young and Mathews needed any help in that category.

Rodney Mathews was an early fan favorite on "The Bachelorette"

When you're competing against 29 other men to win someone's heart, it can't be easy to stand out in the crowd. Rodney Mathews didn't seem to have too much of a problem with that, though. On the first night, he dressed up in an apple costume and introduced himself as the "apple of Michelle's eye" (via Variety). He made it past the "friend zone" with Michelle Young around episode three. That's also about the same time he became a fan favorite, according to Showbiz CheatSheet.

Did Mathews go the distance? We don't want to spoil all the details for you. However, we will say that he and Young have said some very sweet things about one another during the show. For starters, ShowBiz CheatSheet noted that he referred to the bachelorette as the potential love of his life. He upped the ante in a later episode. "I just wanna be your person," he told Young. "And I'm definitely falling in love with you. I know there's strong feelings that I have. And I never, never say that" (via Daily Mail).

All things considered, Mathews appears to be a smooth-talking athlete who loves his mom and has a heart of gold. What's not to love?