Kernersville (NC) East Forsyth cornerback Madison Cone described himself as a “quick cornerback who has closing speed and the ability to go up and get the ball.” Flip on his film and look at his offer list and that self-analysis is confirmed.
The 5-8.5, 175-pound Cone has double-digit offers, rated a three-star prospect and ranked the No.3 cornerback in North Carolina, No.30 in the South and No.72 in the country by Scout.com. Hearing from Duke, Mississippi State, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin the most, Cone will take an unofficial visit to Madison on Friday to take a closer look at the UW program.
BadgerNation takes a closer look at Cone, who is one of the top cornerbacks on Wisconsin’s recruiting board.
One major strength that is evident on Cone’s highlight tape is his closing speed. He is confident backpedaling in coverage, key for keeping up with speedy wide receivers and making plays on the ball. His ability to lock in on a quarterback give him fast reaction time, helping him close in on opposing players and helping him wrap up tackles for loss. Those two traits help him make up for his smaller size.
“I've worked on for years to counteract my size; I've practiced countless hours and now I'm great at it,” Cone said. “I time the jump and have great smarts to undercut the route and get a pick.”
An aggressive cornerback, Cone’s body position and control helps him stay in the proper defending position, but also allowing him to take chances in making a play. As a junior last season, he recorded 46 tackles, three tackles for loss, seven interceptions and 11 pass breakups in 12 games. In three years on varsity, Cone has 166 tackles and 21 interceptions.
“Production is what it all comes down to,” Cone said. “If you can't produce and produce wins for your team, everything else means nothing. I hope for nine interceptions, 20 pass breakup and 50 tackles for my last season next year.”
Only standing 5.8.5, it’s tough for Cone to defend 6-1 wide receivers on the outside, meaning he is better suited to be covering slot receivers opposed to being matched up one-on-one on the outside.
“I may be small, but I try and have it be as little as a factor as possible,” he said.
Plenty of cornerbacks have overcome a smaller stature with exceptional speed. Right now Cone’s speed has been a verified 4.77 40-yard dash time, on the slow end for his position and something that will need to be improved over the next few months.
“My goal is to improve my foot speed,” Cone said. “That will translate to my 40 time and overall speed getting better.”
Cone’s film is solid with his ability to anticipate throws and high point the ball, doing both things exceptionally well for a player his size. If Cone has a growth spurt in it and improve his foot speed, he has the potential to be a lockdown cornerback in college. He has tremendous potential.