Hometown: Matteson, IL
High School: Brother Rice
Arizona State Sun Devils
Valladay is a lean sixth-year running back who has the burst to threaten every level of the defense with his slashing style and the receiving upside to contribute on third downs.
Valladay looked excellent on tape at Wyoming against limited high-level competition. He shows good burst and possesses a smooth top speed that he reaches quickly. While Valladay doesn’t always initiate contact, the Wyoming transfer throws out a stiff arm frequently. He’s flashed some shiftiness in the open field but isn’t truly twitchy and doesn’t consistently make defenders miss in one-on-one situations. Valladay has a good burst, but he runs out of steam on long plays and gets caught from behind. His current frame looks too lean to handle the load of a high-use running back in the NFL. Valladay has an attractive skill set that fits modern NFL offenses. He’s a steady pass catcher with an expanding route tree and shows enough burst to reach the defense’s third level quickly. Valladay is a comfortable hands catcher who adjusts well to the football and consistently generates yards after the catch. He has experience on three different special teams units and in goal-line packages. Valladay still has room on his frame to add weight, but he’s already managed to average over three yards after contact per rush in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Valladay runs with loose hips and a fluid lower half. He could struggle to create between the tackles at the next level because of his build. He’s also a sixth-year player who is rapidly approaching 700 career touches. Valladay is not a reliable running back when frequently used in pass protection.
“When we talk about [Valladay], he’s a slasher type of guy. I like the way he gets skinny in holes. I like the way he stays tight to double-teams. That is natural from a running back standpoint. He gets downhill really quick. In film that we’ve watched from Wyoming, I like his finish. We don’t tackle here at practice, so we can’t see that finish but I’m confident that he’ll be a very, very productive back in this offense.” -- ASU running back coach Shaun Aguano on RB Xazavian Valladay
Valladay was a two-star recruit from Brother Rice High School in Chicago, Ill. in the class of 2017. He was the No. 3,160 recruit according to the 247Sports Composite board and No. 2,566 (three-star) for On3.com. Valladay was an unranked two-star recruit for Rivals. He did not receive a star ranking or grade out of 100 from ESPN. Valladay earned Special Mention All-State honors from the Chicago Tribune as a high school senior. He transferred from Wyoming to Arizona State in January of 2022. While at Wyoming, Valladay earned 2019 First-Team All-Mountain West, 2020 First-Team All-Mountain West, and 2021 Second-Team All-Mountain West honors. He was the 2019-20 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl Offensive MVP.