Northwestern redshirt freshman Trae Williams has transitioned from cornerback to safety this offseason, a team spokesperson confirmed, though he could see action as a “swing” defensive back and play at both positions, much like Kyle Queiro would have had he been healthy last year.
Earlier in the offseason, Williams was expected to contend for a spot as a backup corner to starters Matt Harris and Keith Watkins II. With him practicing mainly at safety, however, it looks as if those spots will belong to Montre Hartage and Alonzo Mayo. Still, if any injuries happen in that four, Williams could step into the corner spot.
This is yet another sign of the confidence the coaching staff has in its cornerbacks. Earlier in the offseason, former cornerback Marcus McShepard moved to wide receiver, as did defensive back Steven Reese.
As far as safety depth goes, Williams enters a position that features starters Godwin Igwebuike and the aforementioned Queiro as well as backups Jared McGee and Parrker Westphal, though Westphal missed the August 10th practice. Williams has drawn high praise from both head coach Pat Fitzgerald and Matt Harris.