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Is Xazavian Valladay following in Arian Foster’s footsteps?

Undrafted rookie running back is getting after it.

NFL: Houston Texans Minicamp Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Dameon Pierce and Devin Singletary are the clear favorites to land the RB1 and RB2 slots in the new Houston Texans offense when the 2023 season kicks off. However, undrafted rookie free agent Xazavian Valladay is running for his life just to crack the lineup.

The 5’11” 198 lbs. running back from Arizona State and Wyoming has been turning heads in Texans training camp, with all the on-site media taking note of his flash and speed.


Most rushing touchdowns (16) in the Pac-12 in 2022

One of three Pac-12 running backs with over 1,000 rushing yards in 2022

Led Sun Devils with 1,481 all purpose yards

Rushed for a touchdown in eight-straight games, the most by a Sun Devil since Cam Marshall in 2011.

Three 1,000+ rushing yard seasons

22 games with 100+ rushing yards

Became the first running back in the FBS to rush for and catch a touchdown in back-to-back games

In 2018 as a freshman Valladay saw action in 10 games for the Wyoming Cowboys as he ran for 402 yards on 72 attempts for an excellent 5.6 yards per carry, with three TDs, with one fumble. As a receiver he made just four receptions for 35 yards.

As a sophomore in 2019 he played 12 games. and rushed for an outstanding 1,263 yards on 247 carries for an excellent 5.1 YPC, with six TDs, with one fumble. In the passing game he pulled in just 11 receptions for 211 yards.

In 2020 as a junior Valladay saw action in five games for the Cowboys. He ran for 545 yards on 99 attempts for an excellent 5.5 YPC, with four TDs, with one fumble. As a receiver he made just 13 receptions for 105 yards.

As a senior in 2021 he played in 13 games and ran for an outstanding 1,063 yards on 207 carries for an excellent average of 5.1 YPC, with six TDs, with four fumbles. In the passing game he had 23 receptions for an outstanding 233 yards.

After season’s end Valladay transferred to Arizona State where as a fifth year senior in 2022 he played 12 games and ran for an outstanding 1,192 yards on 215 carries for an excellent average of 5.5 YPC, with 16 TDs, with one fumble. In the passing game he had 37 receptions for an outstanding 289 yards.


Valladay is a natural playmaker, at his best with the ball in his hands.

Has the feet and feel running between the tackles and in the open field. He has very good vision and patience to pick through defenses.

Not truly explosive, but possesses enough speed to beat linebacker to the edge.

An excellent blocker on the outside, Valladay also adds value in the running game.

He’s equally dangerous in catch-and-run situations as he is taking the top off a defense

Valladay has very good vision and a knack for picking out cut-back lanes and then breaking offchunks of yardage.

As one of those tailbacks who goes from 0-full speed in a few quick steps, Valladay might just have the ability to outrun many NFL defensive linemen and linebackers. And, his shiftiness should shake-and-bake some others.

While Valladay didn’t show out at this year’s NFL combine his pro day was strong. the Arizona State Pro Day, Valladay put on the show I wish he could’ve done in Indianapolis. Measuring in at 5’11” in 204 pounds, he nearly jumped out of the gym with a 40″ vertical after hanging 22 reps on the bench press just before. Not only that, but he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds, which would’ve finished in the top seven at this year’s Combine.

If Valladay had received an invite to the Combine, he would have tied for first among running backs in the vertical jump, placed second in the bench press, and tied for fifth with a 10’3″ inch broad jump.

Valladay was a dual-threat running back for Arizona State with a nose for the end zone. He possesses the versatility and running skill to be a third-down back, and he could surprise in camp this summer.

Xazavian Valladay (via ProFootballNetwork)

I definitely feel like I got more noticed and that I feel like I should’ve gotten that in the first place. Just being able to come out here and feel like I got snubbed at the Combine, I didn’t get that. I definitely turned a lot of heads today.

I’m not a normal athlete. I don’t consider myself normal. I consider myself elite — the best of the best. They have yet to find out what Xazavian Valladay has to offer. Whatever they can do to dig in and see what they see — that’s up to them. But whoever gets me is going to get one hell of an option, and they will be blessed to have me.