Arkansas hosting Clarke

Oklahoma prep guard Rotnei Clarke (6-1, 180) made the short trip over to the University of Arkansas on Thursday to begin his official visit and Chicago Simeon center Stan Simpson (6-9, 220) and Okaloosa-Walton (Fla.) CC forward Keith Ramsey (6-8, 205) are due in Friday.

At first, Oklahoma prep star Rotnei Clarke had planned to take just an unofficial visit to the University of Arkansas because he has been to Fayetteville so much.

But after talking a couple of times in recent weeks with new Razorback coach John Pelphrey, the 6-1, 180-pound guard from Verdigris High decided that he wanted to make it an official trek.

Clarke, who averaged 37.6 points per game last season, arrived in Fayetteville Thursday night and will stay through Saturday night's UA football game with Kentucky.

"Coach Pelphrey has been over here a couple times, really impressed me and I have always liked Arkansas anyway," Clarke said.

Clarke, whose grandma lives In Fayetteville, notes that Pelphrey has made it clear that he is an absolute top priority for the Razorbacks.

"That's for sure," Clarke said. They have made it clear how much they really want me and that means a lot to me."

Clarke will join 6-8. 205-pound forward Keith Ramsey of Okaloosa-Walton (Fla.) Community College and 6-9, 220-pound Chicago Simeon center Stan Simpson on official visits to Arkansas this weekend.

Clarke, who has been to several Razorback football and basketball games in recent years, got to know a couple current Razorbacks on a trip to Fayetteville in July.

That was to bring his sister Cassie – a junior standout that Lady Razorback volleyball team is recruiting – over for a camp.

"The best thing about coming over last time was I got to meet a couple of their freshmen players in Michael Sanchez and Nate Rakestraw," Clarke said in an earlier interview. "I want to be able to like the guys I am playing with and those seem like some really good kids and ones I could see myself with."

Clarke is regarded by many as the nation's best shooter but has also honed his all-around game to where he is regarded as the nation's 14th-best point guard by Scout.com.

"I've really worked hard not only on my shot, but everything about my game this summer," Clarke said. "I wanted to show I was more than just a shooter."

After initially whittling his list from over 30 suitors down to 10 in late July, there are just a lucky six left in the running.

That would be Arkansas, Tulsa, ORU, Gonzaga, Oklahoma State and Kentucky.

The 4.0 student who is on pace to break Oklahoma's career scoring record, has eliminated Oklahoma, Memphis, Arizona State and New Mexico from that list of 10.

Clarke was at one point scheduled to visit Kentucky on Oct. 12 for Midnight Madness, but that might not happen now.

"I'm not totally sure about that now," Clarke said. "We talked about doing that, but they have not made a home visit yet. So I am not sure if I am going to visit there now."

He did take an unofficial visit to Oklahoma State on Thursday afternoon and took an official to Gonzaga back on the weekend of Sept. 14-16.

"The visit to Gonzaga went good and it was a lot different than Oklahoma," Clarke said of the school in state of Washington. "They have had a lot of guards like Dan Dickeau and other shorter white guards like myself that they have developed and gone on the next level (NBA)."

The tentative visit to Kentucky is the only other one that Clarke has scheduled right now.

ORU, Tulsa and Oklahoma State could possibly get one, but Clarke is not sure what is going to happen.

"Possibly I could that, but I obviously know a lot about those places already," Clarke said.

It is his goal to make his decision and sign in the early November signing period.

"I am going to try as hard as I possibly can to have a decision made before too long," Clarke said. "I want to sign in the early period."


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