Commitment Date: 4/29/16
Finished career with 196 tackles, 27 interceptions and 51 pass breakups … named all-state by Associated Press as a senior after recording 30 tackles, six interceptions and 12 pass breakups … four-time All-Piedmont Triad Conference selection … three-time all-area pick … named All-Northwest by Winston-Salem Journal as a junior and senior … named team’s defensive MVP as a junior and senior
Cone picked Wisconsin over offers from Boston College, Duke, Mississippi State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and others.
“When I first started to get recruited, (my mom) 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 campus, facilities and business school were also amazing. It just has everything I'm looking for and I think it's a great fit for me.”
“His ball skills stand out. When you find a DB that has 27 picks, it’s kind of hard to look the other way. He has the ability to play physical in a decent football conference. They played pretty good competition in their conference, and he went up against guys who were 6-3, 6-4. He’s 5-9-ish and he wasn’t intimidated against those guys. He fits what we are building.” – Wisconsin running back coach John Settle, who recruited Cone.
“Cone is a physical playmaker in the secondary. He gets into his backpedal smoothly and breaks quickly on the ball. Cone shows great body control and is aggressive. He anticipates well and has strong ball skills. He's not the biggest cornerback, so he will need to add some more weight and continue to get stronger. But he does many things well and has a chance to contribute early at the next level and ultimately become a very good college football player.” Scout Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst Michael Clark.
Cone remembers hearing the comments from college coaches, saying he had the skills and the talent to play at college football’s highest level but didn’t have the size to match it. Settle saw through that, and as a result Cone gets to be taught by the poster child for smaller-sized defensive backs in Jim Leonhard.
“He definitely has a great track record and he's known for being a winner, so I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to play for him,” Cone said. “I like his enthusiasm and I just want to do whatever I can to help the program be successful.”
It’s easy to see in drills Cone’s explosiveness, a reason why he was able to change games and alter game plans at the high school level with his ball skill. His ability to high point and track the football, according to him, comes from playing centerfield in baseball when he was younger. His ability to cover a lot of ground with his speed is a big weapon in his arsenal.
“Playmaking ability is hard to create,” Leonhard said about Cone. “Some kids have it and some kids aren’t as natural at it.”
Not only was Cone a good high school cornerback, he stood out in basketball (two-time team MVP and two-time all-conference pick), in the classroom (National Honors Society and math honors society member) and volunteered for his city’s drug and alcohol awareness programs. All that considered, the freshman is a great fit athletically, academically and socially for Wisconsin.