By Robbie Neiswanger
Arkansas News Bureau
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas basketball coach John Pelphrey added one more piece to his 2011 recruiting class Wednesday, when East Poinsett County High guard Rashad Madden verbally committed to the Razorbacks.
The 6-foot-5 Madden announced his decision during a ceremony at his school, selecting Arkansas after strongly considering Ole Miss. In fact, Madden told Hawgs Illustrated he was heading to Ole Miss until Wednesday morning, when he was persuaded by his nephew just before the announcement to choose the Razorbacks.
"I told the Ole Miss coaches on Sunday that I was going to have a press conference on Wednesday and that I was going to announce that I was going there," Madden told Hawgs Illustrated. "That was still where I was going when I went to bed. But I got up (Wednesday) morning and went to get my nephew for breakfast and he started talking about how he wanted me to pick the red hat. He kept saying how he wanted red pizza or a red drink and just all about Arkansas.
"That got me to thinking that there really was no reason for me to leave my home state when it has everything I needed."
Madden is rated No. 27 in the 2011 recruiting class, according to the Rivals.com. Scout.com has him rated as the 30th-best prospect in the class. Both sites list Madden as a four-star prospect on a five-star scale.
Verbal commitments are non-binding and prospects can’t sign with schools until November, but Madden joins three others in Arkansas’ 2011 class. The group includes point guard B.J. Young (a five-star prospect according to Rivals.com and Scout.com), forward Hunter Mickelson (four stars according to both) and swingman Aaron Ross (four stars according to Scout and three according to Rivals).
Madden, Mickelson and Ross are the top three in-state prospects in the 2011 class. Young (No. 18), Madden (No. 27), Mickelson (No. 98) and Ross (No. 147) are all among Rivals.com’s top 150 prospects for 2011 as well.