Bateman earns MVP at The Opening

July, 9, 2012
7/09/12
11:20
AM ET
BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Team Super Bad, led by Alabama quarterback commit Cooper Bateman (Murray, Utah/Cottonwood), stormed through the seven-on-seven bracket, winning four games on Sunday to take the team title at The Opening.

Cooper Bateman
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comCooper Bateman led his Super Bad team to the championship of The Opening 7-on-7 tournament.
Super Bad beat Team Field Generals 14-6 in the championship game. It concluded the four-day event presented by Nike Football that featured top prospects from all over the country competing in not only the seven-on-seven tournament, but also a linemen challenge, SPARQ rating national championship and receiving coaching from NFL players.

"Really, we had a different mentality coming into the day," Bateman said. "We knew we were going to have to beat some good teams. We kept getting better as the day went along and felt the flow offensively."

Bateman and Field Generals QB Max Browne, who pledged to USC, traded touchdown passes in the first half. Bateman hit Torii Hunter Jr. for a long strike before Browne connected with Alvin Bailey.

Bateman then hit Ezekiel Elliott for a score as the first half ended.

Neither team scored in the 25-minute second half. Kendall Fuller intercepted Browne early to thwart a drive. On the Field Generals' final possession, Ryan Green took a Browne pass into Super Bad territory, but Browne could not connect on four passes to the end zone. Keanu Neal broke up the fourth-down throw, intended for Bailey.

Hunter secured early-round wins with late catches and made several acrobatic grabs on Sunday. The son of four-time major league all-star Torii Hunter of the Los Angeles Angels, Hunter was named MVP of the seven-on-seven play. He is undecided on a college and considering offers that include Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, TCU, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Iowa, Arizona and Arizona State.

"Any kind of route, any kind of ball you throw him, he's going to make a play," Bateman said. "A couple balls that I had no business throwing, he went up and made a play. I don't know how he did it."

Hunter is also a standout center fielder at Prosper High School in Prosper, Texas. His father has won nine consecutive gold gloves from 2001 to 2009.

"His dad's who he is," Bateman said, "but Torii's making a name for himself. He definitely did it out here today. He came through for us in the clutch."

In addition to Hunter, the all-tourney team featured tight end O.J. Howard (committed to Alabama), linebacker Larenz Bryant (South Carolina), linebacker Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame), cornerback Jourdan Lewis (Michigan), running back Ryan Green (Florida State), Browne, tight end Jake Butt (Michigan), cornerback Cam Burrows (Ohio State), linebacker Matt Thomas and running back Ryan Switzer (North Carolina).

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