Madison takes football seriously

The offensive lineman talks man buns, burgers and Cougar football


LUKE HOLLISTER | The Daily Evergreen

Redshirt senior lineman Cole Madison lets his hair blow in the wind while he stares forward from the bleachers at Martin Stadium.

JACOB MOORE, Former Evergreen sports editor

At six feet five inches and 314 pounds, redshirt senior offensive lineman Cole Madison has the potential to be intimidating to more than just his opponents. However, the easy-going, conversational student-athlete is anything but frightening.

RYAN PUGH | The Daily Evergreen
Madison lines up with his teammates in Saturday’s game
against Boise State at Martin Stadium.

Taking life seriously — but not too seriously — helps the Burien native stay facetious.

“Oh, not only do I like the man bun,” Madison said while grabbing his dark-blonde, curly hair, “I started the man bun.”

As a straight-shooter, Madison was comfortable talking about some of his favorite hobbies. The photogenic lineman kicked his legs up on a desk, leaned back in a chair and made himself at home in the Cougar Football Complex.

Teammates of Madison, like redshirt senior quarterback Luke Falk, have told stories of the lineman’s obsession with movies.

“[Madison] likes films that were made in Japan that nobody’s ever heard of,” Falk said. “He’s a nut. I sat through a thirty-minute movie with him and I’m like ‘I’m outta here, this sucks.’ ”

The film-loving criminal justice major did not dispute this. He acknowledged his respect for a “well-done” movie hidden in the depths of the film industry.

Madison enjoys a good burger occasionally, too. If money wasn’t an issue, Madison said, he would eat out at Fatburger. You’d have to drive about an hour-and-a-half from Pullman to find the nearest one.

Most of all, football is far more important to the decorated player than man buns and burgers. It was his father who got him involved in the sport, Madison said.

LUKE HOLLISTER | The Daily Evergreen
Redshirt senior lineman Cole Madison talks about his father, Mark, who got him into football.

Mark Madison played basketball at Central Washington University just as his son played basketball at Kennedy High School, where he received a letter all four years.

Cole’s athleticism was not limited to one sport. Before joining the Cougars, Madison was also a four-year letter winner with his high school football team. Joining WSU allowed Madison to focus on football, and he has embraced his position on the offensive line.

Since redshirting his freshman year, Madison has won the “Bone Award” multiple times, meaning he came away as the lineman of the week against various Pac-12 teams, like Arizona, UCLA and California.

Although it’s nice to be decorated and recognized for his individual efforts on the field, Madison said, receiving his awards were “more of a team thing.”

He may joke about bringing the man bun into style, and he certainly enjoys discussing hobbies and interests. But when it comes to football, his team and teammates are most important.

For example, former Cougar offensive lineman Riley Sorenson played alongside Madison. After Sorenson’s first bout of testicular cancer brought fear into everyone’s lives, Madison and others felt relieved to hear his cancer would not require chemotherapy, according to The Spokesman-Review.

“I found out, I think two days before camp,” Madison told The Spokesman-Revision. “Me and River [Cracraft] were at dinner with Nick Begg, and River texted Riley and Riley said, ‘The Wizard’s back. No chemo!’ … We were all damn near in tears.”

Cougar teammates are a huge part of Madison’s life, as he often hangs out with defensive athletes like redshirt senior linebacker Peyton Pelluer, recent Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week.

As he prepares for the third game of his final Cougar season, Madison looks forward to fighting for his team, his teammates and his passion.

“Oh, we’re gonna go,” Madison said of his goal for WSU football this year, “and we’re gonna keep going.”