When Maurice Bell seems again on the 2020 season, he can’t assist however take into consideration missed alternatives on kickoff returns.
“I ought to have had three (touchdowns) final yr,” stated Bell, a junior receiver with the Colorado Buffaloes. “This yr we’re gonna need to go for at the very least 5. I’ve bought some making as much as do.”
Now one of many veterans within the receiver room, Bell is in search of huge issues subsequent season, on offense and in particular groups.
Final season, the 6-foot, 180-pound Bell earned probably the most in depth taking part in time of his profession and, together with the Valero Alamo Bowl, caught 10 passes for 115 yards and a landing, whereas additionally gaining 151 yards on seven kickoff returns.
Bell has been a bit restricted due to harm within the early going of spring drills, however offensive coordinator/receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini stated the junior is aiming to be even higher than final fall.
“Maurice has labored actually laborious this offseason,” Chiaverini stated. “He’s labored laborious within the weight room, he’s labored laborious clearly within the offseason conditioning program. I’m excited to see him take the following step this yr.”
Bell, who got here to CU in 2017 from Murrieta Valley (Calif.) Excessive College, has by no means lacked confidence in his skill however stated the 2020 season was a lift.
“It positively provides me extra confidence simply to have the ability to get on the market, simply be on the sphere and present that I’m in a position to play,” Bell stated. “It positively helped me so much and I really feel prefer it helped others to have the ability to see that I really can step on the market and play. It introduced my confidence up so much simply to be on the sphere.”
Getting on the sphere as a receiver at CU isn’t simple due to the depth of expertise within the room.
Sophomores La’Vontae Shenault and Dimitri Stanley are each returning starters and the highest two receivers from final yr, whereas freshman Brenden Rice burst on the scene with some highlight-reel performs.
Juniors Daniel Arias and Jaylon Jackson are each aiming for beginning roles, and there’s an distinctive group of freshmen that features Rice, Chris Carpenter, Montana Lemonious-Craig and Keith Miller III.
Bell, who ranked fourth on the group in receptions final yr, has proven he could make performs and earn his time on the sphere.
“Personally to make an enormous step, one thing I actually wish to work on is simply being constant and being dominant each single day,” Bell stated. “Being a participant that’s simply dependable, that each day you’re on the sphere, you’re dependable to be constant. That’s actually the place my huge soar, I really feel like, will are available in.
“With the function that (Chiaverini) has me eager to make this huge soar, I’m positively prepared for it and greater than excited to leap into it.”
A part of Bell’s soar may come on particular groups, too. He was the Buffs’ major kick returner in 2020 and practically broke free, however he stated, “I used to be getting ankle tackled and that’s not OK.”
Whether or not it’s as a receiver or returner, Bell is raring to play a much bigger function.
“I really like simply having the ball in my fingers typically, actually,” he stated. “Returning kicks is certainly enjoyable, particularly with all of the open area and alternatives you’ve gotten again there.”