Karlos Williams will move to running back, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said after Thursday's practice.
Williams, previously a safety, will move permanently to offense, but will also still see some action at safety or nickel back.
"He's a natural running back," Fisher said. "He's 6-1, 235 pounds, can catch, can run, … I think he can provide not just depth there, I think he can provide a spark there."
Before the 2012 season Fisher spoke to Williams about moving to offense but he resisted. However, with a ton of depth in the defensive backfield and a chance for more playing time, the timing of the move likely appealed to the former high school All-American.
"I think it's going to get him on the field and give him an opportunity to play, which is really important. Any way he can contribute to the team," Williams' father Mark Nugent told Warchant.com. "I think he brings a nice dimension to the offense... I think he's definitely a home run threat immediately."
Williams' move to running back comes almost immediately after depth issues surfaced with FSU's tailback unit. Mario Pender was declared academically ineligible for the season just before Monday's season opener, and James Wilder Jr.'s shoulder was banged up during the game. Wilder is expected back for the Nevada game, but Fisher said Williams will provide another needed body and playmaker at that position.
Williams could still play in the defensive backfield in certain situations and will also continue to return kicks on special teams, Fisher said. He added that Williams has been working with the offense for the past few days.
"I think he saw it and has done it in practice for a little while before y'all knew it, and he sees where we can go with it. … I'm very pleased with what I've seen in the past few days."
With Williams moving to running back he'll retain his No. 9 from defense while freshman wide receiver Levonte Whitfield will change his number. Fisher wasn't sure what Whitfield's new number would be.
Defensive end Chris Casher said Williams has impressed him even in limited time on offense.
"I was like, 'Why is Karlos at running back?'" Casher said. "But he got the ball on a lead or something like that and took off and I was like, 'Wow.' He doesn't look bad."
Williams was a five-star recruit out of high school, ranked the No. 2 safety in the country and the No. 8 player overall in his class. In two years at FSU, Williams has recorded 40 tackles, one tackle for loss and one interception.
Fisher said Williams was excited about the move to running back.
"People have always told him he's a defensive player," Fisher said. "And there's nothing wrong with him as a defensive player. … There's nothing wrong with him there, I just think he's just very natural with the ball in his hands and he can change numbers on the scoreboard, in my opinion."