Oklahoma Sooners: Andrew Williams

The Opening, presented by Nike, will feature 162 of the best high school football players in the country. The event, which will include linemen, 7-on-7 and SPARQ testing competitions, is set to run from June 30 to July 3 at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.

The following events from The Opening will be televised on ESPNU:

July 1: SPARQ Rating National Championship, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. ET

July 2: 7-on-7 Pool Play, 9 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET

July 3: Linemen Challenge Finals and 7-on-7 semifinal and championship games, 9 p.m.-midnight ET

The players will be divided in to six teams -- Alpha Pro, Apocalypse, Field Generals, Land Sharks, Super Bad and Vapor Carbon. Here is a closer look at how the teams match up.

Team: Alpha Pro
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Jordan Palmer, defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson

The Alpha Pro team will have plenty of targets to spread the ball around. Ermon Lane and Tyler Luatua, the No. 1-ranked receiver and tight end in the country respectively, bring size and playmaking ability to the passing game. ESPN 300 athletes Corey Holmes, Jalen Hurd, John "JuJu" Smith, Ja'Von Harrison, and Derrell Scott are all explosive offensive weapons.

Defensively Alpha Pro is led by Andrew Brown, the No. 1-ranked defensive tackle in the country, ESPN 150 cornerback Damon Webb, defensive end Andrew Williams, Ohio State linebacker commit Dante Booker and LSU cornerback commit Chris Hardeman.

Complete Alpha Pro roster.

Team: Apocalypse
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Adam Tafralis, defensive coordinator Donovin Darius

The first thing that jumps out about team Apocalypse is the talent in the defensive front seven. Team Apocalypse will be led by five-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand and inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan. Hand, from Woodbridge, Va., is the No. 4-ranked player in the country, while McMillan was recently bumped up to a five-star linebacker. Joining Hand and McMillan along the front seven are ESPN 300 defensive linemen Anthony Moten and Ainuu Taua, and linebackers D.J. Calhoun and Rashaan Evans.

Offensively, team Apocalypse has no shortage of playmakers. ESPN 300 wide receivers Artavis Scott, K.D. Cannon and Michiah Quick will provide explosiveness in the passing game, while athletic running backs Joe Mixon and Royce Freeman will provide athletic and reliable targets out of the backfield.

Complete Apocalypse roster.

Team: Field Generals
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Charlie Frye, defensive coordinator Michael Fletcher

Seven-on-seven events are always geared towards the offense, but with five-star defensive back Adoree' Jackson, No. 3-ranked safety Jamal Adams, and ESPN 300 cornerback Adarius Pickett in the secondary, the Field Generals should more than hold their own. New Ohio State defensive end commit Jalyn Holmes and the No. 6-ranked defensive end in the country, Solomon Thomas, will be two to watch along the defensive line.

Offensively, the Field Generals are led by ESPN 300 offensive guard Damien Mama, ESPN 300 wide receivers Austin Roberts and Thaddeus Snodgrass and explosive Notre Dame running back commit Elijah Hood.

Complete Field Generals roster.

Team: Landsharks
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Craig Nall, defensive coordinator Keith Bulluck

The Landsharks have some big-time talent along each line of scrimmage. Led by five-star offensive tackle Cameron Robinson, the Landsharks also feature ESPN 300 offensive guard Corey Martinez. ESPN 300 defensive linemen Gerald Willis III and Thomas Holley, as well as ESPN 300 defensive end Chad Thomas, will form a very physical and athletic defensive line.

In the secondary, the Landsharks will have three defensive backs -- Arrion Springs, Chris Lammons and Tony Brown -- that are ranked among the top 85 players in the country. The defense also features ESPN 150 linebacker Nyles Morgan.

Offensively, explosive running backs Dalvin Cook, a Florida commit, and Racean Thomas form a dangerous tandem out of the backfield, and wide receivers Travis Rudolph and Jalen Harvey are solid receiving threats.

Complete Landsharks roster.

Team: Superbad
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Dennis Gile, defensive coordinator Harold Nash Jr.

The Superbad defense line is led by five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter and ESPN 150 defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson. The linebacking corp is stacked with three ESPN 300 members, including Clifton Garrett, Christian Miller and Edwin Freeman. Cornerback Jalen Tabor is the No. 19-ranked player in the country.

Offensively, Superbad has a huge advantage with the No. 1-ranked prospect in the country, running back Leonard Fournette. This team is loaded on offense, with wide receivers Drake Harris, Josh Malone and Speedy Noil all in the mix.

Complete Superbad roster.

Team: Vapor Carbon
Coaches: Offensive coordinator George Whitfield, defensive coordinator Chris Gizzi.

Vapor Carbon will be tough to throw against with defensive backs Quin Blanding, Naijiel Hale and Ed Paris roaming the field. The linebacker group is just as impressive, with Ohio State commit Kyle Berger, Kain Daub and Dillon Bates all leading the way.

The offense for Vapor Carbon could be lethal with running back Joseph Yearby and Nick Chubb in the backfield. Spreading out wide receivers T.V. Williams, Justin Brent and tight end Ian Bunting on the outside could prove to be an awesome combination for this squad.

Team Vapor Carbon has a lot of pieces to make a long run in the 7-on-7 tournament, but then again, every team is stacked in this competition.

Complete Vapor Carbon roster.
NORMAN, Okla. -- One look at Oklahoma’s offense in 2008, the year of the Sooners’ last BCS title game appearance, provides a revealing look at that squad’s success.

St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford triggered the offense with Pro Bowl tight end Jermaine Gresham of the Cincinnati Bengals and three NFL draft picks (Ryan Broyles, Juaquin Iglesias and Manuel Johnson) at receiver. Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray lined up alongside Bradford with Pro Bowl offensive lineman Trent Williams and Minnesota Vikings tackle Phil Loadholt up front. The defense, meanwhile, was led by Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy of Tampa Bay and Detroit Lions linebacker Travis Lewis.

NORMAN, Okla. -- The foundation of championship teams is often built upon the disruptive nature of its defensive line. The foundation of a quality defensive line is unearthed on the recruiting trail.

Cracks in both foundations emerged during the 2012 season at Oklahoma.

The Sooners finished 10-3 with a Big 12 co-championship but had one of their least disruptive defensive fronts in recent memory. And they’ll kickoff the 2013 with a very inexperienced defensive interior.


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Every Friday, SoonerNation releases the Sooner Intel, a sneak peek inside Oklahoma Sooners football recruiting with news and notes on the latest happenings around the program. Talk about it on our forum. A few things discussed in this week's update:

  • The latest on OU's pursuit of former ESPN 150 defensive back Tee Shepard.
  • An OU offer would change the recruitment for a three-star wideout.
  • The Sooners' defensive ends coach is developing a bond with a four-star end.
  • What's next for OU and offensive line target Alex Dalton?
  • A top linebacker offer talks about where the Sooners stand.
  • One of ESPN 300 DE Matt Dimon's teammates is keeping in touch with the Sooners.
  • A Dallas safety is hearing a lot from OU and might visit this summer.
  • OU is taking an interest in a defender at Adrian Peterson's old high school.

Read the Sooner Intel after the jump.


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NORMAN, Okla. -- Well before an official announcement welcoming him to the Sooners’ coaching staff, Jerry Montgomery was stumping on the recruiting trail, pitching Oklahoma to some of the top defensive line prospects in the Class of 2014.

With his latest hire, which the school finally announced Tuesday, head coach Bob Stoops showed again he’s hoping to bring better players up front to Norman. And he’s hoping that Montgomery -- and new offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh -- will be the ones who can close the deal on blue-chip line prospects the Sooners have come up short on in recent years.

[+] EnlargeJerry Montgomery
Lon Horwedel/Icon SMINew Oklahoma assistant Jerry Montgomery wasted no time in recruiting for the Sooners.
Montgomery knows how to make a good first impression.

Not long after he accepted Stoops’ offer, Montgomery was on the phone with ESPN Watch List defensive ends Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) and Andrew Williams (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing Christian Academy) and talking to them about Oklahoma.

Landing players the caliber of Hand and Williams won’t come easy. They have impressive offer sheets, both holding offers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Ohio State and USC. Yet to become nationally relevant past October once again, signing such line blue-chippers is almost a requirement.

The Sooners got by last year up front as they shared a Big 12 title. But against the likes of Notre Dame and Texas A&M, the Sooners were exposed for what they have been: a finesse team ill-equipped of playing dominant, championship-caliber football in the trenches.

That trend was going the wrong way, too, as OU whiffed on almost all of its top offensive and defensive tackle targets in the 2013 recruiting class.

Stoops is banking that Montgomery will help reverse the trend. At Michigan, he quickly gained a reputation as one of the Wolverines’ most prolific recruiters. Montgomery had a hand in Michigan landing all three of its 2014 commitments, and he had already developed relationships with some of the nation’s top rising high school seniors such as Hand and Williams.

Montgomery arrives in Norman not a day too soon, either. Over the weekend, OU already lost out on two of its top defensive tackle targets for 2014 as Zaycoven Henderson (Longview, Texas/Longview) committed to TCU while Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central) chose USC.

Sooners fans are clamoring for those days to be at an end. And that with Montgomery on board, the school of Lee Roy Selmon and Tony Casillas and Gerald McCoy will become a bastion of championship line play again.

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