During the summer doldrums of sports news, many college football fans are starved for news and information regarding their favorite teams.
With that in mind, we at B5Q have decided to take a more detailed look at each walk-on contributor and scholarship player on the Wisconsin Badgers football roster for 2020 in a running feature, our 2020 returnee profiles.
Each weekday we will breakdown one player on the football roster to look back at their recruiting process, their career as a Badger to this juncture and lastly preview their potential contribution to the team in 2020 and beyond.
Today we turn our attention to Madison Cone.
Name: Madison Cone
2020 eligibility: senior
Recruiting info out of HS: 247 composite 3-star, No. 138 CB, Kernersville, N.C.
2015 recruitment: Madison Cone’s recruitment started back in 2014 when Cone received a scholarship offer from Virginia Tech and Duke. He later took some unofficial visits to those schools and Boston College before picking up an offer from the Badgers. ACC schools continued to be on Cone’s trail in a big way as Virginia, Wake Forest and North Carolina all jumped into the mix shortly thereafter. In April 2016, Cone took a visit to Wisconsin which seemed to really help make the decision as he made his commitment just a week later.
Career statistics: 20 solo tackles, five assisted tackles, one pass defended, two interceptions
2019 statistics: six solo tackles, one assisted tackle
Player overview: Coming out of high school Cone was listed as a cornerback before making the transition to the safety position. Standing at 5-foot-8 makes Cone a hybrid type that can play, and has played, both the positions. His flexibility on the field should allow Cone to have an impact this season in whatever role is thrust upon him. In 2018, Cone lined up primarily as a nickelback/slot corner and thrived in the role, putting together the best season of his career with 18 tackles and two interceptions.
Best case scenario for 2020: 2019 was a kind of a quiet year for Madison Cone, but 2020 will certainly bring some opportunities. Best case scenario for Cone is that he earns a starting spot, possibly as the Badgers primary slot coverage player, and takes advantage of the role. Jim Leonhard like’s to play his best 11 guys but also rotate to keep his players fresh. When Cone gets an opportunity he is pretty reliable. Where Cone end’s up in 2020 will be an interesting tidbit to watch.
Likely role on team in 2020: The safety position is one that has a lot of names in the mix coming into 2020. Reggie Pearson had a strong season a year ago and Eric Burrell is coming back as one of the top ranked players in the conference. Mix in a returning Scott Nelson and the Badgers might be all set at those two positions. Cone is likely to play in a sort of nickel/slot role once again this fall, but with Rachad Wildgoose getting a lot of snaps there last year it’s likely that he continues in that role. If that happens, much of the path to the field is blocked for Cone but we’ve seen that before and he’s followed it up with some serious playing time. Cone can play a lot of different positions and will likely be called to do that as Leonhard’s hybrid secondary player.