May 19, 2024

LSU freshman offensive tackle Zalance Heard did not travel to Tampa with the Tigers for their ReliaQuest Bowl showdown against Wisconsin on Jan. 1, sources confirm to LSU Country.

On3’s Shea Dixon was the first to report the news.

Brian Kelly stated that all players that were on the 2023 roster, aside from those who entered the NCAA Transfer Portal, would be available for the bowl game, aside from Jayden Daniels.

Now, a key youngster is not with the program after opening bowl practice in Tampa on Wednesday.

Kelly spoke to reporters on Wednesday about the team and their mindset ahead of Monday’s bowl game:

“I think it’s stronger this year because our guys are educated on what it is to be an LSU football player. The standard is to finish what you started. To have Malik here and BT, all of our defensive players, they want to finish what they started,” Kelly said Wednesday. “That is complete the season, win 10 games and keep building this program. Everybody has decisions to make and we respect everybody’s decision. They want to play for their teammates, for LSU and I think it says a lot about the culture we’re building.

Heard, a five-star true freshman who has emerged as a key piece to the future for this program, is now away from the program.

The exact reason for Heard’s absence hasn’t been confirmed, but those familiar with the situation have stated that the coveted offensive tackle is debating his future and a return to the program is in the cards. As of Wednesday, his name is NOT in the NCAA Transfer Portal.

Heard came to Baton Rouge with swagger and confidence that he would be able to take on the left tackle spot. He’s flipped around at right tackle, opposite of sophomore star Will Campbell, but has proven that he will be a key piece moving forward.

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