Hawks Add Texas Cornerback

The Iowa Hawkeyes added yet another piece to the Class of 2006 this weekend and it came at a crucial position. Colleyville Heritage cornerback Jay Valai gave the Hawkeyes a commitment, and Scout.com's Josh Clark caught up with Valai to offer this indepth report on Valai's visit to Iowa in addition to his plane ride home with Iowa's soft commit, defensive end Braylon Broughton.

The Iowa Hawkeyes have experienced some level of recruiting success at nearly every position, but heading into this weekend, cornerback was still a question mark.

That position was added to the fold when Colleyville Heritage's Jay Valai gave the Iowa Hawkeyes his verbal commitment.

"I committed to Iowa on my visit this weekend," Valai said. "I really like the coaches at Iowa. I love Iowa football all together; just the intensity of the program. The fact they play in the Big Ten Conference, that means I'm going to play on television every game."

Hawkeye secondary coach Phil Parker was a selling point in Valai's decision.

"The love that Coach Parker received at the team banquet, and the intensity he brings to the players told me a lot about him. I love the way he deals with issues; he is just a crazy coach. It seems like he is the Bob Knight of defensive back coaches. I love his passion and the fact he'll challenge my mental toughness," Valai said.

Coach Parker listed the reasons why he is impressed with Valai.

"He told me he likes the fact that I'm very confident and play very aggressively," added Valai, who stands at 5-feet-9 inches and told us that he weighs 190-pounds. "He likes that I'm intense, and although I'm only 5'9, I have a 6'3 wingspan. He told me I'll have a chance to play if I come in and prove myself."

Valai also received the chance for a little one on one time with head man Kirk Ferentz this morning.

"Coach Ferentz is not like any other head coach I have met before, and I'm saying that in a good way. He is very truthful about everything he says; he is a very nice guy, a father-figure. He told me Iowa City is a true college town and you won't find any place better. I'm going to play in the Big Ten, on television, and play at Kinnick Stadium," said a giddy Valai.

Speaking of Kinnick Stadium, Valai said he took delight in seeing the pink locker rooms.

"I'd say the pink locker rooms were the more interesting thing I saw all weekend," added Valai who spent a lot of time with fellow Texan recruit Braylon Broughton. "It was a little different, but it is all about playing mind games. I just love Kinnick Stadium overall."

Valai and Broughton flew home together today and Valai says he'll be working hard on the Dallas defensive end.

"Braylon is verbally committed to Iowa, but I guess he feels he has to take that visit to LSU. Either way, I know I'm going to be talking to him and trying to get him to come up north with me," Valai said.

In the end, after speaking with Coach Parker and Coach Ferentz, Valai realized Iowa was not only was a good fit, but perhaps the perfect fit for him.

"Iowa gives me what I want with a chance to play early and it provides motivation. Iowa is always proving people wrong on the field and I've been doing the same thing. I played in the toughest district in the entire country last season and easily the toughest in Texas this season, against teams like Southlake Carroll, Denton Ryan and all these nationally ranked teams. I just plan to prove myself on the field like I've been doing all along," Valai said.


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