Trashaun Nixon used to make plays as a linebacker by pressuring quarterbacks and tackling runners. One year later, he became the Japan X Bowl MVP as a running back.

Nixon carried 17 times for 196 yards and three touchdowns on Monday at Tokyo Dome, leading the Fujitsu Frontiers to their third straight X League championship with a 35-18 victory over IBM BigBlue.

“(A year ago) I didn’t imagine this, but I knew I could play good at running back,” said Nixon, who converted to the position this spring in the wake of former starter Gino Gordon’s retirement after the last season. “(The transition) took some time in the spring, but now it’s very smooth. Every game our offensive linemen do a good job and make my job easy. I just find a hole.”