All three of the Baby Wings will indeed be Baby Hogs.
East Poinsett County guard Rashad Madden (6-5, 180) ranked as the 30th best player in the country by Scout.com, assured that when he committed to the University of Arkansas and head coach John Pelphrey on Wednesday morning.
He joins fellow Arkansas Wings Aaron Ross (6-7, 225) and Hunter Mickelson (6-10, 210) along with St. Louis area guard B.J. Young (6-3, 170), a top 20 player nationally, as Razorback commits in the 2011 class.
"In the end, it just came down to the fact that Arkansas had everything I needed – a great coaching staff, my friends were going there and it just feels right to stay in my home state," Madden said. "Not only can we go up there together and win a lot of games, but it should also mean that a lot of other great players will follow us and we can get Arkansas back to the top nationally like it used to be."
That being said, Razorback fans should probably feel indebted to Jakyran Madden, Rashad's nephew, and a last-minute phone call from Mickelson, the 50th-best player in the country per Scout.com.
"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 said. "That was still where I was going when I went to bed last night.
"But I got up this morning and went to get my nephew for breakfast and he started talking about how he wanted me to pick the red hat (Arkansas)," Madden added. "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. Then Hunter called right before the press conference and said ‘we need you and you need to come with us.' Combine that with how hard Arkansas recruited me and it was just the right decision."
Madden admitted he went back and forth between Arkansas and Ole Miss several times during the recruiting process and also really considered Baylor, where his sister plays.
"Those are two really good schools and I couldn't have made a bad choice," Madden said. "But I am absolutely sure now that going to Arkansas is the right thing for me and I am solid."
Pelphrey offered all three of the "Baby Wings" when they were in the ninth grade, playing on a 15-and-under team.
He also appeared at Madden's door at 12:01 a.m. on the first day of the home visitation period and was a regular at the Wings' AAU games and the trio's high school games.
"I can't say enough about how hard Coach Pelphrey and the Arkansas staff recruited me and the respect I have for them because of that," Madden said. "He never gave up even when it looked like I might be going elsewhere."
Arkansas already has a top 10 recruiting class nationally according to two services and should be there as well when Scout.com releases its 2011 team rankings in the near future.
The Razorbacks now have three top 50 players committed in addition to another in the top 125.
They are also expected to receive a commitment soon from Top 75 player Antwan Space (6-8, 205) of Desoto (Texas) and remain in the hunt for Seagoville (Texas) star Devonte Abron (6-8, 223) and Memphis Melrose star Adonis Thomas (6-6, 205), a top 10 player nationally.
The current haul and what Pelphrey might add to the class has impressed Scout.com national scouting director Dave Telep.
"Going into the spring and summer, Coach Pelphrey and his staff knew they needed to have a big summer to get the program back to where it wants to be," Telep said. "They are off to a great start, things are really lining up for them with what they already have coming and what might be on the way.
"This really has a chance to be John Pelphrey's signature class," Telep added. "It is a group of guys that could win a lot and get Arkansas back to what it once used to be."
Wings AAU coach Ron Crawford believes that could be the case as well.
"I think that John Pelphrey and his staff made an absolute total commitment a few years ago to building their program with Arkansas kids and have put an unbelievable amount of time into watching the in-state kids and developing those relationships," Crawford said. "That is really starting to pay off for him this year and I think it is just going to continue."
Arkansas has also offered two other Wings standouts in 2012 prospects Archie Goodwin and Jalen Jackson.
Crawford said before the Madden announcement that the sky would be the limit if they landed him.
"If Arkansas gets Madden to go along with Mickelson, Ross and a great, speedy guard in B.J. Young and one more guy and you combine that with the players they brought in this year with the ones there and the 2012 players," Crawford said, "well, I think you will see the Razorbacks making a run at the national championship during their time there. Those are some fantastic players who love playing together and who all bring great skill sets to the floor."
Madden Commits to Arkansas
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