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National Signing Day 2017: CB Madison Cone begins Wisconsin career as early enrollee

A prep ballhawk joins Wisconsin’s prolific secondary.

madison cone Student Sports

Class of 2017 CB Madison Cone

Position Height Weight School 247Sports Composite Rank
Position Height Weight School 247Sports Composite Rank
CB 5'9 175 Kernersville, N.C. (East Forsyth) Three stars, No. 136 CB

One of six early enrollees, Madison Cone comes to the Wisconsin Badgers with South Florida native Faion Hicks as the two cornerbacks in the class of 2017. Both will be available for winter conditioning and spring practices, which will allow them to acclimate well to defensive backs coach Jim Leonhard’s secondary.

Cone was a ballhawk in his prep career, intercepting a school-record 27 passes. In his senior season, he picked off seven passes and recorded 12 passes defended. That should bode well for a Badgers defense that tied for second in the nation in interceptions with 22 in 2016.

“They might use me as a nickelback a little bit, but we mostly talked about corner,” Cone told WXII in early December.


247Sports (composite): Three stars; Grade: 0.8334; No. 1,242 overall; No. 136 CB; No. 38 N.C.

247Sports: Three stars; Grade: 82; No. 1,471 overall; No. 153 CB; No. 40 N.C.

ESPN: Three stars; Grade: 76; No. 76 CB; No. 448 Southeast Regional; No. 28 N.C.

Rivals: Three stars; No. 65 CB; No. 25 N.C.

Scout: Three stars; No. 79 CB; No. 30 South CB; No. 2 N.C. CB

Verbally committed on May 6, 2016

In a unique fashion that reminds one of 2016 recruit A.J. Taylor’s announcement, Cone officially committed to Wisconsin via the Greensboro News & Record:

B5Q’s Andrew Rosin wrote about an intriguing prospect that will look to continue progress by Wisconsin’s secondary:

It remains to be seen if Cone's on-field game translates to the Big Ten, but his Hudl profile shows a prospect who can leap, high-point the ball and stick to receivers man-to-man. He shows the football smarts and doesn't take false steps. He's rather impressive on the field.

Cone earned Power Five offers from Boston College, Duke, Mississippi State, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest, among other programs.

Video highlights


2016 Associated Press All-State for North Carolina

Shrine Bowl participant

2016 ALL-USA North Carolina Football Team

2016 Piedmont Triad 4-A All-Conference Football Team

Bio (courtesy

High School: Three-star recruit by 247 Sports, ESPN, Rivals and Scout … finished career with 196 tackles, 27 interceptions and 51 pass breakups … named all-state by Associated Press as a senior after recording 30 tackles, 6 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 … as a junior, logged 7 interceptions and 11 pass breakups … had 8 interceptions and 16 pass breakups as a sophomore … recorded 6 interceptions and 12 breakups as a freshman … also played basketball, earning all-conference and all-area honors as a sophomore and junior … two-time team MVP in basketball … National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta (mathematics honor society) member … coach was Todd Willert

Personal: Parents are Harold and Alicia Cone … volunteered with Kernersville Cares for Kids and Nobacco drug and alcohol awareness programs