Journalism & Essays
I’ve written in-depth features, profiles, and essays for Outside, CNN, Bleacher Report, ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, GQ, Men’s Journal, the New York Times, SB Nation Longform, SLAM, Our State, and many more magazines and newspapers. My work has been recognized by Best American Sports Writing, Byliner, Longform, Longreads, TIME, MSN, Slate, and more.
“I’m Not the Lone Wolf” tells the story of Urban Meyer, the great college football coach who won national championships at Florida while coaching Tim Tebow, was forced out of the game by mental health problems that landed him in the hospital thinking he was dying, and found his way back to lead his alma mater, Ohio State, to yet another national championship.
(B/R Mag at Bleacher Report | 6,500 words)
- “MLB Prospect Casey Thomas’ Gym Rat Heart, Cool West Coast Vibe Lost at Just 24“ — When B/R Mag asked if anyone wanted to take a swing at reporting and writing a quick look at the sudden, tragic death of Oakland A’s rookie prospect Casey Thomas within a couple of days, something in me made me say yes. I hate what happened; I’m glad I got to know Casey.
- “This Is What It’s Like to Chase Your Pro Baseball Dreams…For 12 Bucks an Hour“ — A ride through the often surprisingly — and invisibly — brutal world of minor league baseball, by way of one Kyle Johnson, the family man who became the first active minor league baseball player to sue Major League Baseball — and then publicly speak out about it — and then what happened next. (B/R Mag | 3,000 words)
- “Not Quite Like Mike“ — Confetti, cracked dreams and crying in front of Jordan: what it feels like one year later for UNC’s Marcus Paige, whose one shining moment got erased by the ultimate March Madness buzzer-beater. (B/R Mag | 2,500 words)
- “Cody Garbrandt is Living the Dream: How the UFC’s New Stud Got His Superpower“ — A stunning story of overcoming what everyone expected you to be, and how one of the most violent and volatile UFC fighters in the world’s life was saved by a young kid with cancer. One of my favorite stories ever. (B/R Mag, 6,000 words)
- “The Linebacker, the Dead Body, and a Pizza Delivery From Hell“ — The unbelievable true story of the man called “Napo,” who may not be Bruce Wayne—he was in the NFL and politics, and he’s real—but for at least one night, to one community on Chicago’s South Side, he was as close to Batman as this world has to offer. (B/R Mag | 3,000 words)
- “Tim Tebow Can’t Help Himself“ – How Tim Tebow became a baseball player, chose football, then wondered what we all wonder. What if? And then he totally went for it. (B/R Mag at Bleacher Report | 5,000 words)
- “The Forever Comeback“ – The embattled Robert Griffin III deals with yet another injury as he tries to recapture the glory of his rookie season in Washington. (B/R Mag at Bleacher Report | 4,000 words)
- “From MDMA to the NFL: Noah Spence’s Journey Isn’t Over“ – Noah Spence was one of the best defensive lineman in all of college football before getting kicked off of the Ohio State team and banned from their conference for repeatedly failing drug tests for use of the party drug Molly. Now one of the top prospects in this year’s NFL draft, he’s still navigating his past while trying to reach the future he’s always dreamed of. (Bleacher Report | 4,000 words)
- “What Killed the Bear Lady?“ – For 28 years, Kay Grayson lived side-by-side with wild black bears in North Carolina’s swampy coastal forests, hand-feeding them, defending them against poachers, and letting them in her home. When she went missing last year, the only thing the investigators could find were her clean-picked bones. And that’s just the start of the mystery. (Outside | 5,000 words)
- “Born That Way: The Legend of Coach Marvin Jarman“ — The story of a very interesting and unique individual who believes he is a coach, but isn’t really, but then again, maybe he is. (SB Nation Longform | 7,000 words)
- “Before the Hoodie: Bill Belichick’s Origin Story“ — An exploration of legendary New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s rise to greatness, and how we almost never knew the splendor of The Hoodie. (Bleacher Report/CNN | 5,000 words)
- “How ‘Little Floyd’ Became ‘Money Mayweather’“ — A profile of boxing sensation and controversial human Floyd Mayweather. (Bleacher Report/CNN | 6,600 words)
- “The Remaking of Coss Marte“ — A former drug kingpin turned fitness guru learns what it means to be human. (SB Nation Longform | 7,800 words)
- “How To Fall Down A Mountain“ — An essay that Sports Illustrated’s The Cauldron commissioned me to write about my first experience snowboarding, which turned into the most personal thing I’ve ever written — an essay about fear, clinical anxiety, and the mountains we all face in our lives.
- “Off the Mat“ — How UFC featherweight Nik Lentz fought to save his father while reinventing himself. (SB Nation Longform | 5,000 words)
- “Andre Dawkins Has a Story” — And the Duke guard would rather not talk about it. (SB Nation Longform | 6,000 words)
- “Death of a Ballplayer“ — The incredible story of Billy Dillon, who somehow survived 27 years in maximum security prison for a murder he didn’t commit. (SB Nation Longform | 8,000 words)
- “East Side Story“ — Far from the glitz of downtown Toronto, there’s the East Side Hotel, where hope goes to die. Anthony and Chris Stewart called it home—until they found a remarkably unorthodox way out. (ESPN.com/Outside The Lines | 6,000 words)
- “The Prospect“ — Montaous Walton just wanted to play baseball, so he made up a fake online persona, fooled the media, signed with an agent, and ended up in handcuffs. (SB Nation Longform | 6,500 words)
- “Prescription: Music“ — When nothing else works, music has been proven to be the most effective medicine. (Charlotte magazine | 3,000 words)
- “The Good Hurt“ — Ray King has leukemia and plays Division I basketball, AND he just helped NC Central to its best DI season ever. (SB Nation Longform | 6,000 words) Featured by The Byliner and more.
- “Blind Ambition“ — Capt. Ivan Castro should’ve died in a fight in Iraq. Now he’s the only blind active duty officer in the Special Forces, and in 2012, he ran 12 marathons. (ESPN The Magazine | 5,000 words)
- “Nobody Walks Alone“ — After bullets put former NBA star Mike Williams in a wheelchair, an old teammate helped him rise again. (ESPN The Magazine | 3,000 words)
- “Saving the Battleship North Carolina“ — Destined to be scrapped, the Battleship North Carolina got its reprieve in 1958 thanks to a statewide effort that brought the ship home. (Our State | 3,000 words)
- “Tarboro Tradition“ — Coolmore Plantation is both a mansion and a museum. But to Joe Spiers, who lives here with his wife, Janet, it is both a connection to his family’s history and a structure that symbolizes his own endurance and strength. (Our State | 3,000 words)
- “Mad For Carolina“ — Think you’re wild about March Madness? You’ve got nothing on this guy. Meet Greg Cauley, the most dedicated—or, depending on who you ask, the craziest—college sports fan in America. (GQ | 4,000 words)
- “The Muse: True Inspiration or Total Nonsense?“ (Pacific Standard | 1,200 words)
- “Golfer Swallowed By Golf Course“ (Outside | 1,200 words)
- “How A Tiny Southern Town Handles a Turkey Vulture Invasion“ (Outside | 1,200 words)
- “What God Wanted Todd To Know“ (RELEVANT | 1,000 words)