IT WAS a breakout season for Jarrod Garlett, and it didn't happen by chance. Every morning at 5.30am, Garlett heads to the local beach with his grandfather for a 6km run. He's been doing it for years, with each run getting him closer to an AFL career.
The West Australian enjoyed a strong year in 2014, playing well for his state at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships and then featuring in South Fremantle's senior WAFL team at the back-end of the season.
Garlett's campaign ended in terrific fashion at the AFL Draft Combine, where he ran a level 15.2 beep test, came second for the standing vertical jump (76cm) and finished in the top-10 for the clean hands and goalkicking tests.
Garlett is a cousin of Dayle Garlett, who quit the Hawks earlier this year
and was then delisted by the club after struggling to meet the demands of a professional career. But Garlett is intent on getting a chance and then making the most of it.
Garlett does everything with confidence. His endurance is elite, and he matches that with a 2.98-second 20-metre sprint, highlighting his dangerous and damaging run-and-carry.
He also plays with an element of risk. Sometimes Garlett can try to do too much with the ball, but generally his self-belief is a good thing: he takes players on, runs around them and goes for marks.
His kicking is good, he understands the game and trains hard. In four games for South Fremantle's reserves side, Garlett averaged nearly four tackles and four clearances, showing his willingness to win the ball, and then win it back.
There aren't too many worries with Garlett's footy. After cutting his foot earlier this year he returned too soon and then found he had a calf injury, so his management in that area could perhaps lift a notch, but there isn't any real problem.
At 180cm and 68kg, he will need to add some weight before stepping up to the next level, but he has already proved his discipline in the fitness side of his game.
A player with similarities to Sydney Swans star Lewis Jetta, Garlett's ability to stream up and down the ground should excite.
Garlett seems a likely top-20 pick. It's hard to see him lasting on the draft board much longer.
Garlett has some real pizzazz, and he knows it. Give him some room and watch him go. A real riser among this year's crop.