Florida State fullback Chad Abram contributing in his new role

After grudgingly making the move from defense to offense, Florida State senior Chad Abram now is flourishing in his new role with the Seminoles.

After playing safety for three seasons, Abram switched to fullback for his final season.

“I’ve embraced it,” Abram said. “But I love playing free safety.”

Abram caught a 10-yard touchdown pass in FSU’s 48-34 victory over Boston College on Sept. 28. His blocking also has helped the Seminoles accumulate 1,141 rushing yards in five games.

Coach Jimbo Fisher encouraged Abram to move from safety to fullback before the 2011 season, and Abram learned from former Okeechobee star Lonnie Pryor, who is now on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad. Fisher felt that Abram had a chance to not only play more for FSU, but also reach the NFL as a fullback.

Abram says that the transition was a struggle for him, but he said Fisher was patient and understood that Abram needed support during the switch.

“When I was struggling, he didn’t yell at me,” Abram said. “He just patted me on the back and told me the correct way to do it.”

Abram gradually got it, picking up knowledge in the film room and by watching Pryor. As much as Abram was reluctant to make the switch, he also wanted to play.

He’s getting that chance now. Abram’s numbers aren’t huge — he has just three carries for 19 yards and four catches for 26 yards — but his value has been as a blocker, helping FSU average 6 yards per carry.

“I had to think about how I was going to get on the field,” Abram said. “I wasn’t playing like I wanted to. I didn’t know the plays and I just hated it over there. But I just stuck it out and look at me now.

Quarterback Jameis Winston and the FSU tailbacks have benefited from Abram. He steps in to clear paths for the running game and often to buy Winston — who is a Abram’s roommate — an extra second to step up and throw.

“He’s a great guy,” Winston said of Abram. “He’s athletic. He probably has a pair of the best hands on the team.

“Before the (BC) game, Chad’s mom actually asked me, ‘When are you going to give my baby the ball?’ And I said that I’ll throw him a touchdown today.”

It was the first offensive touchdown that Abram can remember. Abram was a three-star safety at Kathleen High in Lakeland and he rarely played offense. He thinks he may have had an offensive touchdown in junior varsity but isn’t sure.

Fisher is sure that Abram, who has been a solid special teams player throughout his career, has a future ahead of him in the NFL.

“I think he’s a phenomenal special-teams guy,” Fisher said. “He is doing so many little things right for us. Intelligent, smart and tough. I’m very proud and happy for him.”