Arizona State running back Xazavian Valladay (1) in the first half during an NCAA college football game
Texans undrafted free agent running back Xazavian Valladay proved to be a versatile player in his only season at Arizona State after rushing 1,192 yards and a Pac-12-best 16 touchdowns while amassing 1,481 all-purpose yards. Credit: AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

The Texans selected nine players during last week’s NFL Draft, but the work of general manager Nick Caserio and new head coach DeMeco Ryans was far from done.

Hours after wrapping up the seventh round, the team went about the business of adding undrafted college free agents to fill out the roster. The Texans have signed at least eight undrafted college free agents.

This year’s group is headlined by Arizona State running back Xazavian Valladay, LSU defensive end Ali Gaye, Pitt wide receiver Jared Wayne and Duke safety Darius Joiner. The Texans have also signed undrafted college free agent offensive linemen Tyler Beach (Wisconsin) and 6-foot-7, 312-pound Kilian Zierer (Auburn), Eastern Kentucky defensive end T.K. McClendon and Nebraska long snapper Brady Weas.

Many believe Valladay, who reportedly received mid-sixth round equivalent money that includes a signing bonus and guaranteed salary totaling $175,000, has a good shot of making the team. Valladay, of course, will play behind Dameon Pierce and Devin Singletary, but his 4.47 speed and versatility as a receiver out of the backfield give him a chance to contribute.

In his only season at Arizona State after transferring from Wyoming, Valladay ran for 1,192 yards and a Pac-12-best 16 touchdowns. Valladay also led the Sun Devils with 1,481 all-purpose yards after catching 37 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns.

Gaye is another interesting prospect. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound defensive end from Gambia didn’t start playing football until he was 14, but his talent and athletic ability were apparent from the start. Gaye started in 26 of the 27 games he played in at LSU, accumulating 87 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and seven sacks.

“Couldn’t have been more (grateful) for an opportunity,” Gaye said via Twitter. “I’m ready to get to work.”

Wayne could also be another intriguing signing, but he was also drafted in the second round of the CFL by Toronto, which is about an hour from where he grew up in Ontario. It’s unclear at this point whether Wayne will join the Texans as an unsigned free agent or play in the CFL.

“Thank you everyone that’s been part of this journey, the best is yet to come,” Wayne said on Twitter prior to the CFL Draft. “H-Town, I’m feeling the love already, let’s get it!”

The Texans will host their rookie minicamp May 12 and 13.

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Terrance HarrisPro | College Sports Editor

I've been with The Defender since August 2019. I'm a long-time sportswriter who has covered everything from college sports to the Texans and Rockets during my 16 years of living in the Houston market....