Malcolm Williams, a seventh-round draft choice from Texas Christian whose contributions came solely on special teams in 2011, will attempt to break into the defensive lineup at safety next season.
"I'm looking forward to that chance," Williams said in a piece posted on the Athens (Texas) Daily Review website.
Safety, which featured a revolving door of personnel in 2011, figures to be a top offseason priority for the Patriots.
Williams' opportunity to compete at safety came to light during his visit to Trinity Valley Community College. Williams attended Trinity Valley in 2007 and 2008 (before enrolling at Texas Christian) and returned there last week to speak to players.
Williams credited Trinity Valley for helping him reach the NFL. He also spoke with optimism that quarterback Tom Brady could lead the Patriots back to the "promised land" two or three more times.
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Williams, who is signed through 2012, played in two regular-season games and all three playoff games this past season.