Mirror Image Warriors

With similar skills and personalities, best pals Davone Bess (7) and Ryan Grice-Mullen can look in the mirror and practically see the other one. UH quarterback Colt Brennan, meanwhile, just sees his two favorite receivers, while Coach June Jones sees NFL careers ahead

Steve Murray
Friday - August 31, 2007
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Colt Brennan confers with his two main men,  Davone Bess (7) and Ryan Grice-Mullen (1)
Colt Brennan confers with his two main men,  Davone Bess (7) and Ryan Grice-Mullen (1)

They are the same height, and only a few pounds separates them on the scales. Their birthdays differ by a day (Sept. 12 and 13), they are both quiet at introduction, careful to set an example, majoring in communications, dig clothes, video games and just chillin’out.

And unfortunately for the competition, they can both turn a 7-yard dump into a 60-yard touchdown run without seeming to break a sweat.

Call them twin sons of different mothers if you wish, but while Davone Bess and Ryan Grice-Mullen are not exactly mirror images of each other in a physical sense, it’s underneath the pads, jersey and dreads where the two men can be eerily similar.

“It’s so funny because a lot of times me and him will see something and we’ll look at each other and I swear I’ll say something and it will be the exact same thing he was going to say or vice versa. Sometimes it trips me out,” says Grice-Mullen as Bess finishes the opinion with him.


They do that quite a bit. Not just finishing each other’s thoughts but simultaneously voicing words in the middle of a sentence.

So why are they so much alike? Bess has a theory.

“You know what I think it is?

I think it’s our signs,” he says.

“I was just about to say that!” offers up Grice-Mullen.

Just for the record, according to astrology-online.com, Virgos tend to be, on the good side, modest and shy, meticulous and reliable, practical and diligent, and intelligent and analytical. The negatives are that they can be fussy and worriers, overcritical and harsh, perfectionist and conservative.

Coaches and team-mates confirm the meticulous, intelligent and reliable nature of the two, but it seems the stars erred a bit in some of the criticisms. These two are far too laid back to be fussy and overcritical.

As far as being perfectionists? You bet. You don’t rack up 1,000 -yard receiving seasons and double-digit touchdowns without spending some time on your craft. And no one appreciates the effort more than their two biggest benefactors, Heisman hopeful quarterback Colt Brennan and head coach June Jones, both of whom smile when the two names are mentioned.

“What they have done for me has been tremendous,” says Brennan. “They have put me in the national spotlight, and I think that if you realize how good and talented these two kids are there is a real reason why we are successful on offense.”

Colt’s got a point.

Take a look at his Heisman campaign DVD, and it’s impossible not to notice the talent he has around him. So much so, it may cost him votes.

For the head man the accolades are easy.

“I think they have as much ability as any slots I’ve had, including the pros,” says Jones, adding to his high praise for their work ethic and character.

In addition to complementing each other on the field, the two stars are as competitive as they are close. A nice grab on the field by one inspires a retaliatory move by the other. Catch for catch, yard for yard, heck, maybe even ping for pong, these guys are going to cheer each other on while trying to figure out how to best one another.

“We’re competitors at everything, at video games or whatever,” says Grice-Mullen. “If I beat him, I’m gonna talk trash, and if he beats me, he’s going to talk trash.”

“We feed off each other because at the end of the day it’s going to make both of us better, and after that it’s going to make the team better,” explains Bess. “As much as we compete with each other we’re just making everything better as a whole.”

If you think the relationship is a mutual appreciation society, you’re right. But even when they talk about each other’s game, they are really talking about themselves and the connection they share. For the record, Davone appreciates Grice-Mullen’s running ability and Ryan likes the smoothness with which Bess plays.

“The reason I get excited is because I think, damn, I would have done the same thing,” says Bess. “I can see myself in him.”

It’s an opinion Grice-Mullen knows well.

“Sometimes when he’s about to catch the ball I already know how he’s going to make the guy miss,” says the former Rialto High standout. “His thoughts are in my head. I know exactly how he’s about to make that guy miss.”

Since suiting up for their first season at UH two years ago, both have had plenty of opportunity to admire each other’s work. But while each has posted eye-popping numbers, it has been Bess who has received the lion’s share of the compliments. Blessed with great moves and maybe the best hands in school history, it’s no surprise that the Oakland, Calif., native has gotten his. But putting his on-the-road roommate on some second tier is laughable to Bess.


“In our freshman year, his numbers were better than mine and he didn’t even get make second team in the WAC,” says Bess, shaking his head. “I think he deserves as much credit as Jason (Rivers) and I, not to mention all the other receivers in the country. I know for a fact that he’s way better, but they’re ranked higher than him.”

Though talk about the UH receiving corps usually focuses, rightfully, on Bess and Grice-Mullen, opponents discovered a year ago that the Warriors have another weapon able to inflict damage.

Stepping up big when Grice-Mullen went down for four games in the middle of the sea-

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