IZAK Rankine was a skeptic at first.
Moving in with Gold Coast dietician Ben Parker and teammates Malcolm Rosas and Jy Farrar ahead of 2020, the No.3 pick from the 2018 NAB AFL Draft thought his diet was up to scratch.
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"I didn't believe it at first, I thought I was eating and felt all right," Rankine told AFL.com.au.
"Usually I just woke up and decided, 'Oh I'm going to have this for dinner'… there wasn't much thought to it.
"It's all about knowing what to eat before or after training and on high or low (intensity) days. He's (Parker) taught me pretty much everything.
"When I started eating what's really good for me, my body has started feeling a lot better, so have my joints and it's had a better impact on my lifestyle which was the best benefit."
With a new-found ability to deliver homemade pasta sauce and Acai bowls, Rankine rushed home to South Australia last month before the border laws were enforced.
Having re-injured his hamstring in week of round one – a game he had penciled in for his debut – the 19-year-old wanted to be back surrounded by family.
Now, after time with Parker, Rosas and Farrar this pre-season, Rankine has returned to the Gold Coast in recent days and moved in with defender Sam Collins – the man teammates call 'The Sergeant'.
The latest addition to the Suns' leadership group, Collins will take Rankine under his tutelage for his 14-day enforced self-quarantine period – laws that came into effect while he was in Adelaide.
He won't be allowed to leave the house, not even for groceries.
"I'll be training, playing Fortnite (video game), playing the guitar and I'm thinking I'll start painting or drawing, I'll try and think of something to do while I'm bored," Rankine said.
"Collo's got a gym, Pilates bench, rebound board and I'm going to speak to the club about what the running sessions looks like. We might need to get a treadmill and bike delivered.
"I can just follow in his footsteps, it's just another opportunity to learn from someone.
"He just reinforces what the club wants out of each individual person.
"On the field, he's the loudest one there. He understands what needs to be done on and off the field and gets the most out of everyone.
"If you're doing the wrong thing, he'll pull you up in the right way. That's why we call him 'The Sergeant'."
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Rankine has been given extra hamstring strengthening exercises to deal with his latest hiccup.
After continual left hamstring setbacks limited him to just three NEAFL games in his debut season, Rankine re-injured himself ahead of what shaped as his AFL debut.
"To put it plainly, it just sucked," he said.
"I hurt my shoulder (in a practice match against Brisbane), but I was hoping to come in for round one. I was up for selection.
"In the week leading in I was thinking about debuting with (Connor) Budarick, (Noah) Anderson and (Matt) Rowell then I did my hamstring.
"It was pretty frustrating, and I was pretty upset about it. After a day or so I was over it after going through it last year."
And Rankine is hopeful the long wait will be all worth it when football resumes.
"I'll be just able to breathe a little bit when I get that first game," he said.
"Obviously, it's not everything, I want to make sure I set myself up for the rest of my career, that'd be just a big weight off my shoulders."
After learning the ropes from Jarrod Harbrow, Rankine believes the next stage in his development will be to become a further role model for youngsters such as Rosas and Farrar at the Suns.