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The in-state recruiting effort for the 2023 class didn't start out as the LSU Tigers and Brian Kelly would have hoped.

This summer, both Isidore Newman five-star quarterback Arch Manning and Westgate five-star safety Derek Williams committed to Texas, and it looked like LSU's local recruiting could be headed in the wrong direction. 

But the Tigers have bounced back, securing. commitments from several in-state bluechip prospects - Catholic wide receiver Shelton Sampson Jr., Liberty Magnet running back Kaleb Jackson, St. Augustine offensive tackle Tyree Adams, Woodlawn quarterback Rickie Collins, St. James athlete Khai Prean and, early in the cycle, Union Parish running back Trey Holly.

Still, LSU isn't done.

On Thursday, Neville High School five-star prospect Zalance Heard, the nation's No. 13 overall prospect and No. 3 offensive tackle, is set to announce his college decision.

The 6-foot-5, 300-pound lineman is down to a final five of Florida, Florida State, Houston, LSU and Nebraska.

But one school clearly stands out.

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Prediction: Zalance Heard to LSU Tigers 

LSU has cleaned up with in-state recruits since its early summer losses, and that momentum doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon.

There's buzz around the LSU pledges that Heard could soon join them, and there doesn't seem to be any other program that poses a serious threat heading into Heard's Thursday decision.

LSU's class is currently ranked No. 7 nationally and would actually stay in that spot even with the addition of Heard.

There's a sizable gap between the nation's top-five programs and the rest of the field, and No. 6 Georgia could be in line for a major jump with a big-time offensive tackle addition of its own this week.

Still, LSU is gaining plenty of momentum heading into the fall and could easily climb into that top five before the early signing period in December. 

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