IN HIS FIRST six games at AFL level, Luke Jackson made a serious impression.
The 19-year-old, who was recruited with pick No.3 in the 2019 National Draft, showed why he was such a highly touted junior, making the transition from basketball to football in his younger years.
And at 198cm, Jackson’s versatility may be his biggest strength.
He earned a Rising Star Nomination for a two-goal haul as a forward in Round 10, before absorbing the ruck duties in Max Gawn’s absence the following week to help the Dees claim victory over North Melbourne.
Unfortunately, a hamstring injury ruled Jackson out of the remainder of the season, but there’ll be plenty of other opportunities to watch this star rise.
Jackson signed a contract extension with the club on Tuesday morning, cementing his future in the red and blue until at least the end of 2022.
“ Luke has already shown the impact he can have at AFL level this year,” General Manager of Football Facilities & Administration Josh Mahoney told Melbourne Media.
“His agility, competitiveness and hunger to get better has impressed everyone at the club and we are excited to watch his development.
“Luke joins, Kozzy (Pickett) and Trent (Rivers) as young draftees from the 2019 draft who have signed contract extensions.”
The Western Australian-born ruckman made the trek to Melbourne alongside Rivers late last year and has looked right at home ever since.
With the nickname ‘Dogga’ and a glorious mullet, he’s a popular character among the playing group and will only get better with time on the field.
Jackson is a natural footballer who reads the play well and shows an incredible ability to compete at ground level for a man of his size.
With the inclusion of Ben Brown in 2021, Jackson will be able to continue in his development without too much pressure and should take a positive next step in his young career.