Karlos Williams had a pretty fun Saturday night - but it was a long time coming.
His much-anticipated switch to running back couldn't have gone much better -his first carry went 65 yards for a touchdown. Williams finished as the leading rusher in FSU's 62-7 win against Nevada with 110 yards from scrimmage.
That transition took a while. Head coach Jimbo Fisher has said for years he thought Williams would make a great running back, but Williams, a five-star athlete out of high school and one of the best recruits in the country, resisted the change after playing safety. Even with his eye-popping debut on offense, Williams said he doesn't regret not moving sooner.
"I was a young kid and it was part of maturing," Williams said. "I wasn't really sure about it, kind of nervous. I've been at safety all my life."
Williams instead spent time on the defense and on kick return, but struggled to see the field regularly. He appeared to have worked his way into a starting position at safety this offseason before missing a few days of camp to see his son, Karlos Jr., being born.
That time away was enough to bump him from the starting lineup, and Williams said he saw the writing on the wall and welcomed the change when it came after James Wilder Jr.'s shoulder injury against Pitt.
"I came in through camp as a starter and missed a couple of days to have my son and my son came into the world," Williams said. "I really fell behind on the calls and on the stuff like that. The switch was easy after that. I'm slowing producing on defense but I want to see what I can do on offense. And I trust coach Fisher."
And after looking on film, Fisher said he was impressed with how Williams performed, but was more impressed with how Williams has been able to learn the offense so far.
"He still has a long ways to go and we know that," Fisher said. "But he's willing to learn and he's eager. What I've been very pleased with is his ability to learn. He's grasping things extremely well. A very intelligent young man - grasps it and works at it and conceptually how he picks things up, he sees it. When the ball is in his hands he's making the right cuts."
Williams said he's had plenty of help picking things up from the other running backs on the roster.
"I told James and Devonta Freeman, and even Ryan Green: 'I'm learning from you guys,'" Williams said. "It's a new position. My steps aren't perfect , my blocking isn't perfect, even the way I hold the ball isn't perfect yet but I'm learning form you guys. When I first came into the meeting room it was acceptance right away."
That much seemed true against Nevada. When Williams broke free for his touchdown run, Wilder and Freeman were among the first to congratulate him afterwards. And Williams said he didn't mind learning, even from freshman Green.
"You have to learn how to follow before you can lead," Williams said. "You can't just put your neck out there and not know what you're doing and expect things to fall into place. You have to be able to step in when it's your time and be able to do it right."
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