Tuesday, July 23, 2013
FSU Countdown: No. 9 Karlos Williams
By David M. Hale
Throughout the summer, Nole Nation will be counting down the 40 players we're projecting to make the biggest impact on the Seminoles' 2013 season, taking into consideration everything from experience to potential to their spot on the current depth chart.
FSU's Karlos Williams is looking to start at safety, return kicks and make a big impact in 2013.
What he's done: For two years, Williams and FSU fans have waited patiently for his coming out party, but the process of earning regular reps has been slow. The immensely talented safety saw limited playing time as a freshman, but excelled as a kick returner. In 2012, his role grew as he worked again on special teams and as FSU's sixth DB in dime sets. But it wasn't until his emergency work at linebacker against Georgia Tech in the ACC title game that Williams solidified his star status. He recorded a game-high 11 tackles and a game-clinching interception to help the Seminoles to a conference title. The 11 tackles represented more than a third of his season total, but it also set the tone for a potentially momentous step forward in 2013.
Where he's at: Following his stellar outing at linebacker in the ACC championship game, the buzz to move Williams permanently began, but he wanted no parts of a change. Still, it wasn't until the decision was made to shift Lamarcus Joyner to corner before spring practice that Williams' fate was settled. He's now in position to be the team's starting strong safety, and while he's still refining his technique, his rare combination of speed and physicality should play especially well in new DC Jeremy Pruitt's system. And, of course, Williams figures to resume kick-return duties in 2013 as well. For his career thus far, he's averaged 25 yards per kick return -- a number that would rank as FSU's all-time best if Williams maintains it through the end of his career.
What's to come: The sky is the limit for Williams in 2013. He's waited for his shot for two years, and the ACC title game was a prime example of what could happen now that he's finally earned a starting job. But as much as Williams' talent has been obvious, his patience and desire to refine every aspect of his game is what should carry him. He has the luxury of playing in one of the nation's top defensive backfields, and it's entirely possible that, by year's end, he'll be the best of a very talented group.