Jason Horne-Francis in action in North Melbourne's clash with Carlton in round seven, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

PRIZED North Melbourne youngster Jason Horne-Francis is the NAB AFL Rising Star nominee for round seven.

The 18-year-old, who arrived at Arden Street via pick No.1 in last year's NAB AFL Draft, has had a strong start to his short career.

The midfielder was one of the shining lights in an otherwise disappointing 50-point loss to Carlton. He collected 20 disposals including 10 contested, four clearances and four inside 50s to go with 400 metres gained.


Horne-Francis, 18, has made a significant impact in his seven-game career in the Kangaroos' engine room since being drafted from South Adelaide, having already drawn comparisons to Geelong Brownlow medallist Patrick Dangerfield for his competitive nature and style of play.

His impressive start to his career has culminated in him averaging 19.1 disposals, 10.9 contested possessions, 4.6 clearances and 3.3 tackles a game across his seven games.

Playing for SANFL side South Adelaide, he saved his finest performance of the year in their preliminary final loss to Glenelg. The 185cm midfielder finished with 24 disposals, 11 clearances and three goals, in what was heralded as a best-on-ground performance.


He was named as captain of South Australia's under-19 team last season and has been lauded for his leadership qualities, power out of contested situations and finishing ability.

Most youngsters who are drafted at 18 are finishing up their year 12 studies. Horne-Francis had taken a different route, by gaining 'real-world' experience stacking milk crates at the Fleurieu Milk Company.

Horne-Francis has credited the job with keeping him grounded and level-headed, amid significant media interest through his draft year.