Jacob Weitering was always going to be an AFL star.
His placement in last year’s draft demanded it.
His 195cm and 90kg frame and his steady character allows it.
His first three games of AFL have proved it.
Weitering picked up the first of what are sure to be many gongs through a long career with Carlton this week.
The 18-year-old was named the round-three Rising Star nominee after a stellar showing on the Gold Coast.
The Blues were blown away in the last term to be 44-point losers but Weitering led his side from the back with 26 touches – 10 contested – nine marks and six “one percenters”.
Carlton coach Brendon Bolton delighted in the No.1 draft pick’s showing, saying “he just continues to get better”, but Weitering insists it hasn’t been as easy as it looks.
“It’s definitely been a step up,” he said on Tuesday.
While the Blues have yet to sing the team song this year, it would be music to every Bluebagger’s ear to learn Weitering is enjoying starting from ground zero.
“Starting that reset, we’ve got plenty of fresh faces – 16 new players and a new coaching staff,” he said.
“We’ve got a new culture in now.
“Being a part of the draft crop that’s come through … it’s been great to be part of a new era of football and a new start for Carlton.”
His coach couldn’t find a bad word to say about Wetering’s round-three performance.
“He plays beyond his years with his composure, his ability to intercept mark, make good decisions by foot,” Bolton said.
“He gives us a fair bit of drive out of defence.
“We’re rapt to have him and I think Carlton supporters should smile at that one. He’s only going to get better too, he’s only three games in.”
Next up is the Bulldogs and a chance to take on emerging forward Jake Stringer.
“It’s amazing going from playing (under-age) football to coming up against these superstars,” he said.
“I’m just trying to learn as much as I can in this first season especially and put it into practice in the future.”