Connect with us

Arizona State Sun Devils

ASU RB Xazavian Valladay signs with Texans as UDFA

© James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

ASU running back Xazavian (X) Valladay has signed with the Texans after going undrafted in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!

In his lone season at ASU, Valladay led the Pac-12 in rushing touchdowns with 16 and was first on the Sun Devils in all-purpose yards with 1,481. He came to ASU after four seasons with Wyoming where he became the active FBS leader in rushing yards.  He finished his five-year collegiate career with 4,446 total rushing yards and 35 touchdowns on the ground. He also had a 929 receiving yards and caught four touchdowns in his career.

The sixth-year senior, who is listed at 5-foot-11 and 199 pounds, was projected to be a late-round pick or fall out of the draft completely. NFL Mock Draft Database had Valladay’s consensus ranking at 313 overall. He was arguably one of the biggest snubs from the NFL Combine and participated in the East-West Shrine Bowl, where he led the West with 13 carries for 76 yards.

Last year, the Sun Devils saw RB Rachaad White selected 91st overall by the Buccaneers, but Valladay was unable to follow in his footsteps. The Sun Devils have had a lot of success with running backs getting drafted in recent years, as Eno Benjamin was drafted by the Cardinals in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft, and Kalen Ballage was selected in the fourth round of the 2018 draft by the Dolphins.

Defensive tackle Nesta Jade Silvera was the only Sun Devil to get drafted, which made ASU have at least one player drafted every year for a decade straight.

Former ASU RB X Valladay to reportedly interview with Cardinals

Pro Day Results

Valladay had a very impressive pro day for the Sun Devils. Below are his stats. Bio

His bio on

“Xazavian (pronounced x-ZAVE-ee-un) Valladay is an Illinois product (Special Mention All-State from the Chicago Tribune as a senior at Brother Rice High School) who redshirted as a freshman at Wyoming, then played in 12 games with one start in 2018 (71-396-5.6, three TDs rushing; 4-35-8.8 receiving). Valladay led the Mountain West Conference in rushing as a sophomore in 2019, earning first-team all-conference honors with 1,265 yards and six scores on 247 carries (5.1 per) while also catching 11 passes for 211 yards (19.2 per) and two scores in 12 games (nine starts). He was also the MVP of the Arizona Bowl with 204 yards and a score on 26 totes in the team’s win over Georgia State. Valladay was a first-team all-conference selection in 2020, as well, leading his squad in rushing (99-550-5.6, four TDs; also 13-105-8.1 receiving) in five starts while missing one game due to a left leg injury. He topped his squad again in 2021 with 1,063 rushing yards (209 carries, 5.1 per, six scores; 23-233-10.1) in 13 games with 12 starts to garner second-team All-MWC accolades. Valladay transferred to Arizona State for 2022, excelling with 1,192 yards (215 carries, 5.5 per) and tying for 10th nationally with 16 touchdowns rushing in 12 starts (37-289-7.8, two TDs receiving). — by Chad Reuter”

Scouting Report

Draft Network’s scouting report on Valladay:

“Valladay’s best usage appears to come on run plays designed to attack the edges of the defense. This is where Valladay can use his speed to attack the outside and has shown multiple times the ability to turn the corner and outrun defenders to pick up significant yardage. Valladay has a long stride and appears to effortlessly outrun defenders at times. Valladay has a slashing, one-cut type of running style that could be an effective tempo switch-up as a complementary back to a more traditional running back.

Valladay has a lean frame that combined with his upright running style limits how much power he can run with. Valladay’s ability to break tackles and contact balance both appear to be average and his usage as an in-between-the-tackles runner did not provide the same results as when Valladay was utilized as a runner who attacks the edges.

Ultimately, Valladay has many likable traits as a runner, but his value as running back will vary from team to team. Valladay will be best utilized in an outside running scheme where he can use his best asset: his speed. Valladay’s usage in the passing game has been minimal, but if he can prove to have value running routes and being a receiving threat out of the backfield, it will further help his value as a player in the NFL.”

Valladay could end up being a huge steal as a free agent for the Texans, and the numbers and tape back it up.

ASU DT Nesta Jade Silvera drafted by Raiders with 231st overall pick

*Get the BEST Phoenix sports insider information, exclusive content, and access to our seasonal magazines! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our premium content!*

Brendan Mau is a college sports insider and general assignment reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on twitter via @Brendan_Mau

More in Arizona State Sun Devils