THE PRAISE for Jason Horne flows as effortlessly as the teenager flies for marks across half-forward. 

"He can play as an inside and outside midfielder and is very strong overhead for his size," one recruiter said. "He's a genuine goalkicker, has a great highlights package and is always on the move. He's right up there for the No.1 pick at the moment."

Another scout was equally as excited.

"He's just well-performed. At every level he's played he's played well," they said. 

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"There's things he can improve on," said another club, "but if he was on a list he'd be every chance to be playing round one in the AFL next week."

Clearly, Horne starts this season as one of the most hyped players in the NAB AFL Draft pool after his performances last season. 

Jason Horne celebrates a goal for South Adelaide last season. Picture: Cory Sutton

The South Adelaide teenager, having been South Australia's MVP at the under-16s the previous season, starred at under-18 level last year before debuting at SANFL senior level as a 17-year-old.

He finished the year by playing nine games and booting five goals, including a standout finals series that exceeded his expectations.

"My goals for last season was just to play one or two League games, play a couple of reserves games as well, so I think they really got met well," Horne told

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"There were a few nerves there coming up against bigger bodies and the pace of the game when you have to be a bit quicker. But I feel like I adapted and I took on the challenge pretty well and it was good to just get some games under my belt. 

"After my first few games I got the hang of it a bit and knew what it felt like to be playing up there and really comfortable. After the first few games I felt like I was meant to be up there."

Horne, a Freo fan who idolises superstar Docker Nat Fyfe, will this year play far more midfield time having spent most of last season in the seniors' forward line. The 183cm prospect is competitive, wins contested ball and loves jumping for marks. 

His stepfather is Fabian Francis, the former Port Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne player, and the pair share a close bond. He said Francis had helped step him through the pressure that comes with being a highly touted draftee.

"There is a little bit of pressure there but I try not think about it too much and forget about it," he said.

"At the start of my footy I had a bit of pressure of Fabian playing AFL and there was a bit of pressure I put on myself to play well because he was my dad, but that pressure has drifted away a bit and I've got out there and started to play footy. 

"He's played a massive role in my life. He came into my life when I was seven or eight and him coming down from AFL he's played a big part, especially in my footy but also outside of that and making our family closer."

Fabian Francis playing for Port Adelaide in 2001. Picture: AFL Photos

As well as backing up last season, meeting with clubs and navigating his draft season, Horne will spend 2021 in the workforce after leaving school last year to take up a job at Fleurieu Milk, where he helps load up the delivery trucks. 

"I work five days a week there and they've been really flexible in giving me time off for footy," he said. 

He has already started this season impressively, providing some highlights in a practice match for South Adelaide against Port Adelaide's SANFL side, which included a number of AFL-listed players.