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WHEN he was in year nine at The Peninsula School, Jacob Weitering had a good role model three years ahead of him.

Lachie Whitfield was touted as the likely No.1 draft choice for more than a year before he was finally taken by Greater Western Sydney at the 2012 NAB AFL Draft.

Weitering watched Whitfield, a fellow student at Peninsula, handle the acclaim and spotlight and still manage to perform on the field. He couldn't have known at the time that in his own draft season – this year – he would have been in a very similar position.

The key defender has been viewed as the likely No.1 choice since the start of the season, when he dominated older and senior opponents playing for the NAB AFL Academy against VFL teams.

The 195cm and 92kg prospect captained Vic Country to its undefeated division one title at the under-18 championships and was named an All Australian. 

Where do we start? Weitering is a towering and powerful key defender who is unmatched in the air. His hands grip the ball and he has so far proved very difficult to budge when in the right position. At TAC Cup level he averaged nearly eight marks a game, and it's very rare you see him make a mistake or appear rushed. 

While his intercept marking and confidence in the air is how Weitering influences games most, his spoiling is smart and with power and he has a natural competitiveness that comes out on the field. His foot skills are also exceptional. He is able to pinpoint passes with composure and he can also send the ball nearly more than 50 metres out of the backline to clear trouble.

His endurance is at the top-end (he ran a 15.1 beep test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine) and his pace is solid as well (3.04 seconds in the 20-metre sprint). Weitering caps off his on-field traits with an off-field persona that never gets flustered. He's humble and dedicated, and oozes leadership qualities. 

No draft prospect is flawless, because teenagers still have plenty of time to develop. That's especially the case for Weitering, who only turns 18 the day before the draft. But you'd have to be nit picking to find a fault in his game because he does everything with a level of class and composure. His tackling has been raised as a potential area of improvement, but really, it's an extremely minor point.  

With his aerial dominance and foot skills, Weitering plays in the same way as Geelong premiership defender Harry Taylor. Both players can not only hold down their direct opponent but provide cover for teammates around them with their brilliant marking abilities.  

Carlton is set to welcome Weitering to the club with pick No.1 at the draft. If the Blues started the draft with a shock and didn't select him, he wouldn't last much longer.

Weitering is so ready for the AFL that he would have played 20 games in most senior teams this season had he been allowed. Clubs see him as a future captain, and it won't take long for him to graduate to his new team's leadership group. He's an ultra-competitive, professional and determined prospect ready to play.