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No.1 pick Jacob Weitering earns Rising Star nod after impressive start

Deliberate push, Corr injured, Schulz surgery Footy Feed with Matt Thompson and Nat Edwards

JACOB Weitering has not felt the added expectation placed upon him as the No.1 pick and the title certainly does not seem to be affecting his football.

The Carlton defender, who the Blues took with their first selection in last year's NAB AFL Draft, has taken to playing in the AFL like a duck to water.

So few will be surprised that the 18-year-old, who is averaging 19.3 disposals at 86.2 per cent efficiency after three matches, is the round three nomination for the NAB AFL Rising Star award.

"You can think that and say it does add a little bit more pressure, but to me it's only a number," Weitering told

"As soon as I set foot in the club and (Carlton coach) Brendon Bolton certainly enforced this, 'Whether you're pick one or pick 80 you're just another player on the list.'

"You're not entitled to anything or a game straight up and I had to work very hard to get that round one debut."

Weitering, who stands at 195cm and weighs in at 94kg, was his side's best player in a 54-point loss to Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium, gathering 26 disposals and taking nine marks.

He also had five intercepts and 466m gained in the game against the Suns.

Weitering's composure and sure handling stuck out in the greasy conditions as his more experienced teammates struggled to adjust.

"He just continues to get better, doesn’t he? We’ve got a really good player there," Bolton said after the match.

"He plays beyond his years... with his composure, his intercept marks.

"He makes good decisions by foot (and) gives us a fair bit of drive out of there, so we’re rapt to have him and I think Carlton supporters should smile at that one.

"I think he’s only going to get better too, he’s only three games in."

Weitering, who hails from Mount Martha Junior Football Club, said he was not perturbed by Carlton's much-talked about "reset" and said he was relishing the opportunity to try to spark the club from its dormant state.

"It's exciting to be involved in something that's starting all over again," Weitering said.

"Being part of the draft crop including Harry McKay, Charlie Curnow, Jack Silvagni, David Cuningham, who are all coming through and are developing very quickly, is exciting.

"That's the new Carlton."

As for the vision from round one of Weitering engaging in a bit of byplay with Richmond's Jack Riewoldt after he sprayed his set-shot for goal, the youngster says there was not much to it.

"It was all a bit of fun. Jack and I are in the same management stable for those that don't know," Weitering said.

"We'd met previously and it was just a little bit of fun on-field.

"You've got to have that self confidence sometimes and I've seen in the past players making their debuts go into their shells a little bit."