By now many Dolfans have to have heard the name, Ryan Grice-Mullen. If for some apparent reason you live under rock, I encourage you to read this week's column. Ryan Grice-Mullen, or RGM as many of us like to call him, is a former teammate of Davone Bess and a former wide receiver for the University of Hawaii. He was signed this offseason to a contract by our Miami Dolphins and has been reunited once again with his best friend and former teammate Davone Bess. I personally am a huge fan of both and hope the Dread Heads have finally been reunited.
In Bess and Grice-Mullen’s final year in college I got hooked on watching the University of Hawaii football program. I stayed up many nights to watch their games, and while quarterback Colt Brennan was clearly the star, Bess and Grice-Mullen always stood out. Bess was the better of the two players, but both he and RGM were mirror images of each other. Both players ran excellent routes, had sure hands and a similar build, but Grice-Mullen’s speed and deep threat ability distinguished him from Bess. RGM also looked like a running back playing wide receiver because of his ability to make people miss specifically in open spaces.
Grice-Mullen’s ability to make players miss tackles can be accredited to him being a running back in high school. He also worked the sidelines real well and played with no respect for his body. I have seen RGM make some of the sickest catches and twist his body in ways that look awfully painful.
Ryan decided to skip his senior year, and along with Bess, entered the 2008 draft. Their last year together in Hawaii had Bess finishing with 108 catches for 1,266 yards and 12 touchdowns, and RGM finished with 106 catches for 1,372 yards and 13 touchdowns. Both had late round grades going into the 2008 draft, went undrafted and eventually went their separate ways.
Bess signed with our Miami Dolphins and the rest is history. On the other hand, Grice-Mullen has had a much harder road to stardom. Grice-Mullen’s ultimate goal has been to make an NFL team’s 53 man roster, but that is something he has yet to accomplish. He signed a deal with the Houston Texans as an UDFA, but was waived due to a hamstring injury he suffered in camp. After being released by Houston he signed with the Bears only to be released again.
Things obviously were not working for Grice-Mullen in the NFL, so he traveled north of the border to the Canadian Football League. There, he signed a two year deal with the BC Lions to be part of their practice squad. In his first year as a Lion, Grice-Mullen made the active roster for the BC Lions and recorded 9 catches for 175 yard and 1 TD. He averaged 19.4 yards a catch and his longest catch was a 67 yard bomb for a TD.
In his second year as a BC Lion, Ryan showed a slight improvement receiving. He finished the season with 20 catches, 210 yards, 1 TD and averaged 10.5 yards a catch. His longest catch was a 27 yard pass.
That is not all Ryan did in Canada, he also returned kicks and punts last year. As a kick returner, he ended his year with 0 TDs, 1,099 yards on 47 returns, averaging 23.4 yards a return. Grice-Mullen’s longest kick return was for 73 yards. In the punt return department Grice-Mullen racked up 411 yards in 43 attempts and 0 TDs. He averaged 9.6 yards a punt return and his longest return during the season was for 54 yards. RGM cemented himself in the CFL record books when, in the playoffs, he returned a punt for 106 yards and a TD, setting a record for the longest punt return in a playoff game.
RGM did not tear up the Canadian league, but he did produce in the “Great White North“. He proved he could play in a league that has become somewhat of a farm league for the NFL. RGM’s success in the CFL does not surprise me and I would not be surprised if he is the latest CFL import to have success in the NFL.
The Dolphins have obviously seen something in Ryan Grice-Mullen, thus signing him this offseason. RGM has been one of the most talked about players, since rookie mini-camps ended. Coach Sparano praised him in each of his press conferences during the rookie minicamps, and local beat writers can’t stop writing about the Dread Heads possible reunion.
Unlike his other stops, in Miami, RGM could have a few things going his way this time. The Fins need a kick returner and punt returner after trading Ginn. There also appears to be an opening for the fifth wide receiver spot. The spot could go to Patrick Turner, but after being drafted in the third round last year, he has failed to take the field and was unimpressive in practices. Those reasons should be good enough for RGM to have a legit chance to make this team.
RGM has also taken advantage of the reunion with his former teammate, even if it is a short one. According to Mike Berardino of the Sun-Sentinel, RGM has been working out with Bess on his personal time, learning the playbook and working on his route running. It is things like those that show how determined RGM is to make the Dolphins. When you read about the things Grice-Mullen has been doing to make the team, you can’t help but root for this kid, especially if you are a fan like me.
I know RGM’s spot on this team is not a given and that will be determined during training camp. What I do know is RGM has the potential, fire and ability to make this team. Grice-Mullen is doing all the right things to make the Dolphins final 53 man roster and he is closer than ever before to achieving his dream. If Grice-Mullen makes the team, the Fins could have found a gem, identical to how they found Davone Bess. After seeing Bess take a similar but shorter road, I am convinced that it must be a Dread Head thing.