When Drew Gould first read on Snapchat that his best friend, Reese Grant-Cobb, had been stabbed and killed, he thought it was a joke. He and his football teammates at East High School, where Grant-Cobb played even though he attended DSST Stapleton, often used “RIP” after someone got roasted by jokes on social media. But this post was no joke. Grant-Cobb, only seventeen, had been murdered on July 1 outside the Bourbon Grill at 517 East Colfax Avenue.
Now, friends are remembering a bright young man who was a great athlete and filled to the brim with potential.
“If anyone could cure any disease in the future, it would be Reese, because he’s that smart,” Gould says.
According to his friends, Grant-Cobb put school first. Just weeks before his murder, he graduated from the science and technology high school and was set to study bio-medical engineering at the University of Northern Colorado.
Not just a good student, Grant-Cobb also excelled at sports. With a limited athletic program at DSST, he played for East, taking public transportation to the practice field.
During his sophomore year, Grant-Cobb competed on the track and field team. It was at one of the team’s practices that he met Gould. They hit it off right away.
“It was like one of those things where you feel like you’ve always known that person. It felt like talking to family,” Gould says of their first interaction.
Early into the same track and field season, Grant-Cobb was already out-throwing seniors in shotput. Gould, a member of the varsity football team, saw his friend’s strength and athleticism and knew he would make a good football player. He encouraged him to try out for the team.
Grant-Cobb eventually agreed and became an instant starter, playing on the offensive line during both his junior and senior years. Jasper Johnson, the team’s offensive-line coach, remembers the day he first showed up to practice. “When I saw Reese, I was like, wow, man, there is a God,” he says.
Grant-Cobb had the rare combination of size — he was six feet, three inches tall and weighed 250 pounds — and speed. “He had footwork like no other. The kid was nimble,” Johnson says.
Grant-Cobb also made everyone around him a better player. During one game, the East team was getting beaten badly, and some of the other offensive linemen started to feel discouraged. But during the next series, East ran the ball to the right, and Grant-Cobb threw a block and “just laid this kid out,” Johnson recalls, saying that the play ended in a touchdown.
Grant-Cobb was the right tackle. Always to his left was Jessie Hopkins. “Playing next to Reese was amazing because football is about trusting the man next to you to do his job well so you can focus on your job. And Reese always worked hard and rarely made mistakes. I'd go to war any day with that man,” Hopkins writes in an email.
Grant-Cobb was more than just a star on the football field. “He was definitely a Renaissance man,” Gould says.
He loved old-school music like ’70s funk, hip-hop and old jazz. He was also quite into fashion, according to Gould.
When other high-schoolers would be out drinking or smoking, Gould and Grant-Cobb would just kick back, listen to music and talk.
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Their last interactions shows Grant-Cobb's unique personality. Gould jokingly posted on social media that Oprah and Kanye West would run against each other in the 2020 presidential election. Grant-Cobb, who loved Kanye’s music, responded that “Yeezy" would win for sure.
The Denver Police Department is asking for the public's help in locating the suspects in Grant-Cobb's murder. If you have any information related to the homicide outside of Bourbon Grill at approximately 11:15 p.m. on July 1, please call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.
Grant-Cobb's funeral will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17, at the City Park Pavilion. His family is also planning a “day of service” on July 20, which would have been Reese’s eighteenth birthday. More details will be announced on the Mo’ Betta Green MarketPlace Facebook page; Reese's mother, Beverly Grant, runs Mo' Betta. (Donate here to help Grant-Cobb's family with funeral costs.)
“He’s just one of those kids that actually wanted something. He wanted to do well. For this to happen to him, it’s overwhelming. He did not deserve this,” Johnson says.