"Coach (Ron) Aiken from Iowa came here last week, and after seeing the type and meeting Jay in person, offered the next day," said head coach Chris Cunningham. "By last Friday, they were setting up an official visit. Jay is an impressive young man when you first meet him as everyone comments on the fact he is a very intelligent young man, well-spoken, and very knowledgeable about the game of football. By the end of the conversation, he is likely to tell you something about your program that you didn't even know as he absorbs everything. He is deeply passionate about football."
Valai, who also holds offers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Central Florida among others, previously officially visited the Gophers back in November. He has spoken to Wisconsin about a January visit.
On the season, through 10 games, Valai recorded 62 tackles (3 for a loss), 16 pass break-ups, and two interceptions. He also returned 19 punts for 166 yards and 12 kickoffs for 310 yards.
"Jay can play either corner or safety in college. Anytime we needed to shut someone down, we went to him. We used him to play press man-to-man in corner, loose man-to-man at safety, and just to play support from safety. I know people want bigger corners these days, but I have no question, that Jay can play cornerback on the next level," said Cunningham.
The one way Valai is able to make for his lack of height at cornerbacks is with his extraordinarily long arms.
"I'm not lying to you when I tell you that Jay's fingertips come below his knees. He has such long arms and big hands, and that is the reason I know Coach Aiken was convinced enough to offer him after seeing his film last week. He can jam a receiver so effectively at the line of scrimmage, and with his reach he plays as if he is a 6'2 cornerback," stated Cunningham.
TCU is a program that has informed Coach Cunningham they may be offering Valai soon, as well.
Scout.com will keep you up-to-date in Valai's recruitment.