• Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Colorado''s Daniel Arias collects one of his TD catches during Saturday''s spring game.

  • Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Colorado''s Maurice Bell, middle, runs tough after a catch during Saturday''s spring game.



Nothing that Daniel Arias did on Saturday will go down in the Colorado record books, and it didn’t help the Buffaloes win a football game.

The annual spring game was significant for Arias, however.

The rising sophomore receiver capped an emotional spring with an exceptional performance, hauling in seven passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns at Folsom Field.

“It definitely feels good just from everything I’ve been going through,” Arias said, his eyes and smile beaming through his facemask. “It just means a lot and it shows me I’ve been working and I could really play at the next level. I’m just going to keep working hard and keep getting better and help my team win.”

While working on his game this spring, Arias also dealt with the loss of his father. The two were not close, but Arias left the Buffs for a few days earlier this month to go to the funeral in the Dominican Republic, and it’s been an emotional journey for him ever since.

Through it all, the 6-foot-4, 200-pound Arias kept working and continues to show he’s one of the top young players on the roster.

“He’s a kid that just comes every day and just works hard,” head coach Mel Tucker said. “Obviously, you can see that he has talent and he’s very competitive. He’s a quiet kid, but he works his butt off and his teammates respect him. I was happy to see him have some success today.”

With proven standouts at receiver, including Laviska Shenault, KD Nixon and Tony Brown, and a deep collection of young talent, the Buffs are loaded at the position. It might be difficult to keep Arias off the field this fall, however.

“I made sure when I was on the field I executed when the ball was thrown to me and I made sure I made plays,” he said. “I know I have to make some improvements. I know I have to keep getting better. I’m just going to put this game on the side and learn from the film I’m going to watch with coach and just keep working on my techniques and keep working on the little things to make my game better.”

Arias wasn’t the only young receiver to bust loose on Saturday.

Maurice Bell, who will be a redshirt sophomore in the fall, caught six passes for 129 yards and a touchdown.

“I feel like I had a good spring,” he said. “I definitely ended it how I wanted to end it. I felt really good about it. I just kept progressing and progressing and I knew what I had to work on and just kept on working on it. I feel like it paid off when I got out here.”

Considering the talent at the position, Bell realizes it’s tough to crack the Buffs’ lineup at receiver, but a day like he had Saturday doesn’t hurt his chances of getting on the field in the fall.

“You have to make the plays when the opportunity presents itself,” he said. “If you make the plays, you’ll be able to get in the lineup. You just have to show them you can make the plays when they come to you and you get the ball.”

Another young receiver, redshirt freshman Dimitri Stanley, finished the spring game with seven catches for 98 yards and one touchdown.

“I think we’re very deep and we have a lot of guys who know how to play football and run very good routes and obviously block in the run game,” quarterback Steven Montez said. “If they continue to do that into the fall, we’ll be in good shape.”

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.