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Linebacker or Safety for Williams? That'll Wait 'Til Spring

Dec. 17, 2012

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State still has a bowl game to play but one of the top questions heading into the off-season will focus on whether or not Karlos Williams' future is at linebacker or safety. 

Brandon Mellor
Brandon Mellor
Seminoles.com Managing Editor
bmellor@fsu.edu
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Right now it's safety -- where the sophomore speedster has been No. 2 on the depth chart all season and is still practicing at in preparation for the game against NIU -- but after a memorable performance at linebacker in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game, Williams showed enough to at least warrant discussion about a possible position change entering his junior year.

With a new defensive coordinator set to take over after the Orange Bowl, Williams has the chance to start with a new slate and possibly a new position -- even if he isn't thinking that far ahead just yet.

"These guys are going to come in, they are going to evaluate the way they like to evaluate, they are going to see who played and who didn't play I guess and just do their business," Williams said. "It's going to go off old film, the film they've seen, the games they've seen us play in. When they get here you've got to out there in the spring. 

"It's definitely going to start in the spring and from then you've got to take it one day at a time and one practice at a time and just go out there and try to earn a spot, earn a position."

One of the fastest players on the team and perhaps pound-for-pound in the entire country, Williams has already shown his speed and athleticism as well as his big-hit ability through two seasons at FSU.

But the championship contest against Georgia Tech will certainly give the 'Noles' new defensive coach something to think about. In was in that game that Williams came on in relief for Nick Moody after the senior sustained a head injury on the opening kickoff. Williams, who had practiced some at linebacker throughout the week because backup Reggie Northrup was out with an illness, responded to his new role by leading the team in tackles and securing the game-saving interception late in the fourth quarter.

With Moody's eligibility set to exhaust itself at the conclusion of the Orange Bowl and the possibility that junior starting safeties Lamarcus Joyner and Terrance Brooks could together be back for one more season of roaming the defensive backfield together, Williams may find that a move in 2013 is best for the team and his future.

But again, that all depends on what the new boss of the defense thinks. The defensive coordinator's boss, Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher, thinks that no matter happens, Williams is going to have an even bigger role next year whether he stays at safety or not.

"Some of the things I think we'll do in the future are play more nickel and dime," Fisher said. "Seventy-five percent of the snaps you play are against one-back teams, which will put you in nickel a lot of times. He'll be a great player; he's going to be a great player here."


This play by Karlos Williams sealed FSU's conference title earlier this month.


"It all depends on what happens over the course of the next months or if I gain some weight or if I lose a lot more weight," Williams added. "It all depends on how spring football goes and how my body reacts to the running and the weather."

For now, Williams is focused on the task at hand: serving as the No. 2 safety and starting kick returner for FSU's upcoming contest against the Huskies Jan. 1 at Sun Life Stadium.

He doesn't know if it will be his last game at safety or not, or even what the future holds with the changes to the defensive staff following the losses of Mark Stoops and D.J. Eliot to Kentucky.

What he does know is that it's definetly the last time that he'll play with his older brother, redshirt senior middle linebacker Vince Williams, and the younger of the two Williams boys is looking forward to one last game together.

"You feed off the energy. He makes a tackle, you make a tackle, you're talking to each other, you're both talking garbage to the [other] team," Karlos Williams said. "Ya'll both going at it, laughing. It was a great time [in the ACC championship game]. It was a great, great, great experience that I'm happy that I got to share with him that I'll have one more time going down to play in the Orange Bowl."


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