Madison Cone didn’t need to see a game at the University of Wisconsin to validate his decision to commit to the program in May. But since he was enrolling January and wanted to take his official visit during the season, the Kernersville (NC) East Forsyth cornerback had no doubt about which game he was going to come to.
One of four official visitors for the football team over the weekend, and the only committed player, Cone said the visit didn’t disappoint in the slightest.
“It was everything, and more, what I expected,” Cone told BadgerNation. “The thing that jumped out to me was the fans. The rich tradition that Wisconsin upholds is just amazing. You hear about it and you’re like OK, but I don’t think you understand until you see it in person.”
Visiting Wisconsin in April helped Cone make his decision to commit to the Badgers over programs like Boston College, Duke, Mississippi State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest, as he got to sit down with the coaching staff, tour the campus and get a feel for the facilities.
While the game was a big aspect of his visit, Cone said finally getting to sit down with head coach Paul Chryst – who was absent on Cone’s unofficial visit due to one of his daughter’s graduating – was tremendous.
“Actually getting a chance to see him and meet his family, it was nice to see that they are great people,” Cone said. “My parents felt 100 percent comfortable when we left his office and finished talking to him.”
Getting his parents’ blessing was a big deal for Cone. His mom saw the campus in April but this past weekend was his dad’s first opportunity to see what Wisconsin had to offer.
“My mom has been talking about this move ever since we got back from my unofficial,” Cone said. “She just loves it. When I first started to get recruited, she wasn’t sure if she could let me go more than four-and-a-half hours away. So, I went off that. When we went on the visit to Wisconsin, it just blew us away. The people, the coaches and the players, it was just a big family atmosphere. That’s what she saw and she just fell in love of it like I did. My dad was just amazed at everything Wisconsin is doing.”
“The guys fought hard from start to finish,” Cone said. “J.T. Barrett had been putting up 50 points per game, but the guys took that as a challenge and weren’t going to let that happen. They did a very great job. Patrick is a great guy. He’ll be one of the guys I am closest to.”
Cone also made sure to put on his recruiting hat with official visitors Jaylen Kelly-Powell, Jonathan Taylor and Faion Hicks, who ended up committing on the visit. Hicks’ commitment gives Wisconsin its 11th commit in 2017 – the fewest of any Big Ten school.
“As soon as Faion walked in the door, I was like, ‘look, man, this is the place to be,’” Cone said. “He came with his mom and they were pretty blown away by what Wisconsin has to offer. Talking to him Saturday, I was on him. Talking to him Sunday, I was on him. He finally decided to go ahead and pull the trigger. I’m still working on Jonathan Taylor to try to get him to pull the trigger, too.”
With his team currently 7-1 with three games left in the regular season, Cone leads his team with five interceptions and six passes defended, as well as registering 124 total yards and two touchdowns on offense and 118 return yards.
“The biggest thing I can work on right now, since players are going to be bigger and stronger, is getting off blocks and coming up and supporting (in the run),” Cone said. “As a DB, you can always improve on your back pedal, your breaks and all the basic fundamentals.”