Keiland Williams has spent the majority of training camp getting work at fullback behind Darrel Young. But the second-year LSU product is still an option as the team’s third-down back – the role he played for the majority of last season.
In practices this week, Williams has taken some snaps at his old position, in addition to playing backup fullback.
Coaches feel like they know what they have in Williams as a third down back.. (He took on that role last season when Clinton Portis was injured and struggled early, but played with more consistency as the season progressed.) And they obviously want to get younger at fullback, with Young auditioning for the starting spot there, and Mike Sellers’ future uncertain as he fights to remain on the team as a tight end. Meanwhile, they believe Williams might have the versatility to help them as pass protection back and a backup fullback.
To find out for sure, coaches have had Williams spend the first two weeks of camp exclusively at fullback. That also gives them the chance to see what Tim Hightower, Evan Royster and Roy Helu can do in pass protection situations. But Williams says he has been told to expect more action back at third-down back as the preseason progresses.
“I think after spending an entire season in a role, coaches get a feel for what you can do,” said Williams, who believes an ability to contribute at both third-down back and fullback will increase his chances of remaining on the team. “And now, moving me to a new position, I feel like I’m more at fullback now just because it’s new to me and that’s where I need the most work. I’m going to be used at fullback, but in my third-down role, I’m still going to be put into games there as well.”