Lake Catholic graduate and Ohio State University journalism student Matt Borcas beat out a field of more than 4,000 hopefuls to to be a part-time fantasy football writer for Grantland.com next football season.
Borcas was the winner of Grantland's Fantasy Island -- a contest in which 10 writers matched wits and fantasy football acumen.
Borcas started playing fantasy football his junior year of high school.
He read about the contest on Grantland and thought it would be an opportunity to kickstart his career.
He found out he was one of the 10 finalists on Aug. 29.
"More specifically, I was sitting in the Smith Lab at Ohio State for my anthropology class, anxiously checking my email because I knew that the contestants would be announced that day," Borcas said.
The finalists faced off in a two-fold competition. Not only did they write articles about fantasy football that competed for publication. They were also in a fantasy league together.
"Initially, the group was somewhat intimidating," Borcas said. "There were two published authors, one who had written for the New York Times and another who wrote for a newspaper in Washington, D.C. It was a major confidence booster in Week 1 when my article was chosen to be posted. At that point, I fully believed that I would win."
Borcas finished third in the fantasy league but he was chosen as the overall winner for the quality of his writing.
Grantland Editor Robert Mays told The Lantern that Borcas's professionalism and creativity stood out.
"If we wanted a fantasy writer, it was going to be something different," Mays said to The Lantern. "I’d rather pull somebody back than push them to be creative. He brought it every week."
Borcas learned he won the week before Christmas.
"It was surreal when I won," Borcas said. "I didn't think that I'd be on a platform with that big of an audience at this young of an age."
Borcas will be paid to write a biweekly fantasy football column for Grantland next season.
For those who want to read more of his writing before next summer, Borcas cofounded the sports and lifestyle blog Scrawl So Hard with Matt Lardner. He also covers arts and entertainment for The Lantern.
"My favorite part of Fantasy Island was interacting with and trash-talking the other contestants," he said. "They were an interesting group of people."