The Florida State Seminoles are coming off a BCS National Championship in 2013 and are heavy favorites to make a run at repeating that title thanks in part to the return of Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston at quarterback. But for the Seminoles to make a run at the College Football Playoff, they will need to find some balance on offense with the running game, which lost some key contributors this offseason. Can Karlos Williams step up and fill the void with a breakout 2014 season?
Williams came to Florida State as one of the highest rated safety prospects in the 2011 recruiting cycle. He played defense his first two years with FSU but failed to break into the starting lineup and was switched to running back for the 2013 season. In his first year on offense, he made a major impact finishing second on the team with 730 yards rushing on 91 carries with 11 rushing touchdowns. He displayed a tough-running mentality to go along with game-breaking speed which made him dangerous with the ball in his hands in 2013.
This season, Williams will become the featured back on what should be a high-powered FSU offense. The Seminoles lost Devonta Freeman and James Wilder, Jr, to the NFL this offseason and will be looking to replace their combined 1,579 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns. Williams showed the ability to be the kind of playmaker to pick up the slack in flashes a year ago but will have to show he’s sturdy enough to be the team’s workhorse this fall.
If Williams delivers on the tremendous potential he showed in 2013, Florida State will once again have a dominant rushing attack as they try to defend their national title. While all of the attention heading into the 2014 season will be on Jameis Winston, Karlos Williams may be the most important piece of the offense for the Seminoles this fall.