LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — After Texas Tech's Holiday Bowl win, the Red Raiders' leading rusher approached coach Kliff Kingsbury to ask if he could switch positions.
Kenny Williams saw how depleted the Red Raiders were going to be at linebacker this season, so he offered to help out by heading to the other side.
Now, after leading Texas Tech in rushing the past two years, the 5-foot-11, 228-pound senior is set to start at outside linebacker when the Red Raiders host Central Arkansas on Saturday.
"Linebacker is just like the mirror position to running back, so a lot of that (experience) comes in handy," Williams said. "In certain situations I can kind of process what the running back is doing. It's really been working for me."
Williams will be taking over the position from Terrence Bullitt, who had two sacks and 37 tackles last season. Williams, who had 497 yards rushing and eight touchdowns, also played on special teams. He had 14 tackles in that role and will probably again be in on kickoffs, punt blocks and kick returns.
Williams was a triple-threat on offense last season. In addition to his running back role, he caught one touchdown pass and threw for two others.
Kingsbury's seen improvement on defense from Williams and expects that to continue. He also isn't ruling out bringing Williams in on offense occasionally.
"There are certain things he does really well offensively, so we may plug him in any given moment," the second-year coach said. "We'll see how the season's going."
Williams is no stranger at linebacker. His began there at the start of his junior year at Hendrickson High in Pflugerville, Texas. Since then, though, he's been a running back. Williams wants to play some on offense — and he smiled wryly when asked about slipping in on offense.
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