SB FILE / OCT. 2005
Ryan Grice-Mullins split time at running back and quarterback in high school, but at UH, he's a top-notch receiver.
Who’s the man?
Statistically, they both are, yet Davone Bess gets more attention ... but Ryan Grice-Mullins doesn't mind at all
IT'S not always easy being the "other" receiver on your team when your statistics are comparable -- and in some cases better -- than the guy who gets more notice.
Ryan Grice-Mullins' and Davone Bess' receiving statistics last season:
But if it irks Ryan Grice-Mullins that his fellow Hawaii slotback and pal Davone Bess has a higher profile, he's good at hiding it.
"Nah. You know what? It really doesn't bother me," Grice-Mullins said. "Man, I don't trip on that. Davone's a great player."
There's no NoCal-SoCal rivalry (Bess is from Oakland, Grice-Mullins from Rialto) that keeps them from being friends, either. The two spend time together away from the field. They were at the UH volleyball matches Friday and Saturday cheering on the Wahine.
Bess caught 89 passes for 1,124 yards and 14 touchdowns last year, while Grice-Mullins grabbed 85 for 1,228 yards and 12 scores (plus one rushing).
At the end of the season, it was Bess who received more acclaim, as the Western Athletic Conference freshman of the year, and freshman All-America notice from two other entities. Grice-Mullins got some recognition, but mostly of the honorable-mention variety.
"Stuff like that you can't control. As long as my teammates, coaches and the local fans appreciate me, it's fine," Grice-Mullins said. "And all the hype could've gone either way. If we won more games, both of us would've got more, but it's hard to give two guys awards when you only win five games."
Grice-Mullins knows what it's like to be a star player on a losing team. At Rialto High School, he split time between quarterback and running back and rushed for 1,155 yards on a team that went 0-10.
The Warriors leave tomorrow for their season opener Saturday at Alabama. If the Crimson Tide can't slow down or stop Grice-Mullins and Bess, it will help UH keep pace with the 17-point favorites.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Grice-Mullins tweaked a hip Saturday at practice, but said yesterday he's ready for today's workout.
"I'll practice. It's just a little crampy feeling," he said. "Today it felt a lot better."
Last year he won a starting spot early in fall camp, only to suffer a shoulder separation. That set Grice-Mullins back, but he was ready to play when Jason Ferguson tore an ACL in the first game of the season.
He hasn't looked back since. And he's itching for a game, since his last one was a 10-catch, 167-yard, three-touchdown performance in UH's 49-38 win over San Diego State to conclude the 2005 season.
"He's kind of laid-back, but he takes his school and football seriously," receivers coach Ron Lee said. "He takes care of business."
Short yardage: UH is scheduled to elect team captains tonight. ... Coach June Jones is finalizing the 60-player travel roster today. ... Lee said he hopes to bring nine receivers -- the first two strings of wideouts Jason Rivers, Chad Mock, Ian Sample and Ross Dickerson and slots Grice-Mullins, Bess, Mike Washington and Aaron Bain, plus backup slot Pat Olchovy. But Olchovy is on the bubble depending on decisions made at other positions. Others in limbo include cornerbacks Ryan Keomaka and Keenan Jones. ... The Warriors practice at Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Wednesday and Thursday, and then bus to Birmingham on Friday, when they will have a walk-through at Bryant-Denny Stadium the day before the game.