Committed Over: Kernersville (NC) East Forsyth cornerback Madison Cone committed to Wisconsin over other favorites Duke, Mississippi State, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. He has other offers from Appalachian State, Boston College, Charlotte, East Carolina, Old Dominion and Virginia.
Rated: Cone is rated a three-star prospect and the No.3 cornerback in North Carolina, No.30 in the South and No.72 in the country by Scout.com.
On Film: Cone is a physical playmaker in the secondary. He gets into his backpedal smoothly and breaks quickly on the ball. Cone shows good anticipation and great body control. He's very aggressive and has great ball skills. Cone also has a high football I.Q. and understands different defensive schemes well. He's not the biggest defensive back, so he will need to add weight and continue to get stronger. But he does many things well and will likely have a chance to play early at the next level and ultimately become a very good college football player. – Scout’s Mid-Atlantic recruiting analyst Michael Clark
Recruiting Impact: The hot recruiting continues for Wisconsin, which has now addressed every position on the field with the exception of tailback. The Badgers entered this recruiting cycle wanting to take 2-3 defensive backs to boost their overall numbers, so Cone’s commitment is just the first step in that process.
With a small recruiting class, however, that number is subject to change. After all, the Badgers will likely be bringing in Denver East athlete Deron Harrell on a grayshirt offer in January 2017 (he’s projected to play corner) and will land Hawaii transfer Nick Nelson if he is admitted to the University.
In terms of other corners, Wisconsin has a handful of offers out to Florida prospects and two Detroit-area players. One of the Michigan prospects - Donovan Johnson - visited campus in late March and connected well with the staff and liked the facilities, while none of the five Sunshine State corners known to have an offer have ventured to Madison yet.
Among the safety prospects, four-star Jonathan Sutherland has been offered by over 20 schools and plans to narrow his list of schools in the next few months. While he is not ready to officially name any top schools, he said Michigan, North Carolina, Syracuse, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin are the ones he's in contact with the most.
After extending him a scholarship offer last week, Detroit safety Scott Nelson said the Badgers jumped to the top of his list, as they are a program he has followed for several years. He is definitely one to watch for Wisconsin.
Quotable: “Madison is one of prettiest places I've been. It has a great college town feel to it. People are awesome, restaurants look awesome, just everything about it is something I've never seen before. The only downsides are the weather and distance, but besides that everything else was beyond my expectations. My parents love the school and that's always a huge plus for me and makes my decision much easier to make.” – Cone
Final Thought: Had Cone been a couple inches taller, he would have had double as many offers as he does now. No matter. Wisconsin running back coach John Settle identified Cone as a player who could help the program dating back to last fall, and UW stayed in pursuit ever since. Cone was so impressed with his unofficial visit to Wisconsin last weekend that he committed on the visit, a big believer that secondary coach Jim Leonhard can turn him into the next … well, Jim Leonhard.
This is a solid pickup for the Badgers, as Cone has solid coverage skills (21 interceptions in the last three seasons), dependability (a three-year starter), good speed (4.52 40-yard dash) and the desire to get better.