TALLAHASSEE — Florida State safety Karlos Williams, a former five-star recruit, will make the transition to tailback in a move that will offer playing time on both sides of the ball.
Coach Jimbo Fisher said Williams began practicing a considerable amount at tailback on Wednesday afternoon and added the junior often will play defensive back in dime situations.
“He’s a natural running back,” Fisher said after practice Thursday. “Extremely natural. He can run a 10.5 (in the) 100 meters. Can catch, can run, is very natural with the ball in his hand. Is physical. I’m very pleased with what I’ve seen in the past few days.”
Tailback is not an unfamiliar position for Williams, who ran for 564 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior in high school. But he also was considered the nation’s top defensive back in the class of 2011, and had been strictly a defensive player and kick returner with the Seminoles in 2011 and ’12.
Williams had 32 tackles and an interception last season for FSU as a sophomore.
FSU is short-handed at tailback, so Williams could see playing time as a backup beginning with the Seminoles next game at home against Nevada on Sept. 14. James Wilder has a shoulder injury, and Fisher hopes he will be back for the Nevada game.
If Wilder can’t go, FSU will be down to just Devonta Freeman and true freshman Ryan Green.
Whether or not Wilder plays, Fisher said Williams’ move is for the long term.
“I think he can provide not just depth there but some spark,” Fisher said.