Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher has never been a fan of ranking recruits nor does he pay much attention to the networks that do so. He feels that just because a guy is a standout player in high school doesn't mean that it will translate at the next level, and that by ranking players an unfair stigma is attached that can be nearly impossible to live up to.
But every year there are a few players in high school that stand out to such a degree that leave little room to believe otherwise.
In Florida State's 2010 recruiting class, standout safety Karlos Williams was that player. The five-star recruit rarely saw the field his freshman year other than on special teams, and the same can be said for the first half of this 2012 season.
But in the last two weeks it seems like that may finally be changing as Williams has seen a substantial increase in playing time.
As great as the Seminoles defense had been through the first five weeks, NC State saw a weakness in the FSU linebacker's ability to cover the skill positions, and they attacked it.
The Wolfpack offense had a majority of its success on underneath crossing routes and chips, as well as in the flats due to favorable matchups in those areas.
The following week against Boston College, FSU defensive coordinator Mark Stoops adapted as he unveiled a new package called the "six-pack," which features six defensive backs on the field at the same time – hence the name.
"That just puts more DB's on the field to go after the receivers and stuff like that," linebacker Telvin Smith said. "They're trying to get matchups on us, and I feel like that N.C. State game kind of exposed trying to get receivers on us [linebackers]. The coaches then have to plan for it and we're out there trying to execute."
The package adds more speed and versatility to the defense with the additions of defensive back Tyler Hunter and safety Karlos Williams.
The "Six-pack" is a variation of the base Dime package featuring Telvin Smith as the only linebacker on the field, Terrence Brooks and Tyler Hunter covering the slot receivers or tight ends, and Williams and Lamarcus Joyner as the safeties.
Williams loves the new hybrid role and is only going to get better with the more game experience he gets, something that only comes from proving it on the practice fields, and not from prior success.
"I believe the more mature and more comfortable I get with the defense, the more playing time in games I see," Williams said. "It definitely depended on me. I guarantee you that if I wasn't ready to play then I wouldn't be playing, and that's the way Stoops runs things. It's definitely all on me being more comfortable, knowing the assignments, and knowing the playbook."
Since seeing the field in a much larger capacity the last two weeks, Williams has more than doubled his season total in tackles prior to the BC game.
Going into the BC game, Williams had just six tackles on the year, which mostly came on special teams, but in the last two games he has registered seven tackles bringing his season total to 13.
With Duke's passing game currently ranked 22nd nationally, and averaging just under 300 passing yards per game, you can expect them to try to spread the field giving Williams a chance to have another big game.
Often times it can be difficult to see the good that comes from a bad situation. But perhaps somewhere down the road FSU will point back to that NC State game and realize the window that opened up, allowing Karlos Williams to take off.