Matt James' time as the star of "The Bachelor" begins Jan. 4, when he'll meet 32 women all hoping to win his heart.
James was first cast to be be a contestant on "The Bachelorette," but in June, he was tapped to become the first Black Bachelor in franchise history.
The North Carolina native told "Good Morning America" at the time that becoming the lead of the show was "an honor."
"I'm just going to lean into myself and how my mom raised me," he said. "Hopefully when people invite me into their homes on Monday night they're going to see that I'm not much different from them and they see that diverse love stories are beautiful."
Now, as he prepares to be the star of his own season, James said he's leaning on some of the advice former leads have given him about looking for a soulmate.
"I've seen it work out for people in the past. I reached out to those people because, as someone who has never been a part of something like that, there's going to be skepticism," he told "GMA" on Monday. "They reassured me to just be myself and trust the process and to be open and vulnerable. That's what I did."
Watch Matt James' "GMA" appearance ahead of the season premiere:
Here are a few things to know about James:
1. He's athletic: During his four years at Wake Forest University, the economics major played wide receiver for the school's football team. After graduation, he gave himself a year to make a professional football team, but when opportunities with the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints fell through, he took a job with PNC Bank instead, according to Wake Forest Magazine.
2. He likes to give back: Along with "Bachelorette" alum Tyler Cameron, James, who works as a real estate broker in New York City, founded ABC Food Tours, an organization that provides opportunities for children in under-served areas of the city to try local restaurants. Encouraging healthy lifestyles is one of their goals. The two came up with the idea after having dinner at one of their favorite downtown eateries, only to discover afterward that a group of children outside had never heard of it. "They lived right across the street and they hadn't been to this place that we're traveling all the way from the Upper West Side to come to," James told People magazine last year. "So we reached out to their principal and she was crazy enough to let us take a group of their students on board." Since founding the group, Cameron and James have helped more than 50,000 children, they said.
3. He's very close to his mom: James told Wake Forest Magazine that although he had scholarship offers from other schools, he wanted to stay closer to home so that his mother could attend his games. Now, he's hoping to find a woman who's similar to her. "I'm looking for qualities that my mom embodies, and that's selfless, honest, caring, compassionate," he told "GMA." "Those are qualities found in women all shapes, sizes and races and it's not a Black or white thing."
4. His faith is important to him: James' Instagram bio explains that he's a "believer," and he regularly quotes the Bible in his social media captions. He also told Wake Forest Magazine that attending the university was "the best decision I ever made ... other than becoming a Christian."
5. He'd never been in love prior to the show: In a trailer for his season, James tells "Bachelor" host Chris Harrison that he's never been in love. However, he's ready for all of that to change -- and to start a family. "I think the grandkid counter for my mom started when the announcement was made," he told Harrison during "The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever."