By Jonty Ralphsmith
The day after North Melbourne took him as the number one pick in the 2021 Mid-Season Rookie Draft, Jacob Edwards is still buzzing.
Kangaroos coach David Noble let Edwards know of their intentions on Tuesday night, and the 19-year-old watched as his name was called on Wednesday, celebrating at home with close family.
“I still can’t believe it now, that this is all happening,” Edwards said.
“Hearing from the North Melbourne team that they would be picking me in the midseason draft, it was surreal and something I can’t even describe.”
The 202-centimetre ruckman had a late night and early rise the following morning, his phone buzzing with texts from new teammates as he honoured various media commitments.
Edwards played in Sandringham’s first three games in 2021, establishing a portfolio of impressive ruck-work, a lethal left boot and contested marking in the forward line, kicking five goals.
He is grateful for the time he spent with Sandy, after joining the program when talent manager Mark Wheeler spotted him as a potential project player at Beaumaris’ training in 2019.
“I’ve had heaps of fun at the Dragons.
“Mark Wheeler’s been brilliant to me because I wouldn’t be here without him giving me that opportunity three years ago at the Dragons.
“Jacko Kornberg, I’ve got to give thanks to too, giving me the opportunity to play the first three games this year for Dragons. If I didn’t play those games, I wouldn’t be in a position I am now.
“Nick Moodie’s been in my life for a long time as well and he’s been a really good support for me through all these years.”
He received congratulations from schoolmates and teachers during his online school day at Mentone Grammar on Thursday but was cautious not to let the hype interfere with his schooling.
His mature approach towards his education is striking, as he is determined to complete year 12 and study business at university next year.
“I’ve gotta focus at school.
“We have to work around my VCE timeline and SAC calendar with North, so footy isn’t interfering with school. I’m not too sure what happens at this point, but I’m just trying to prioritise VCE studies.
“I don’t want this footy thing to take over because I want to have a long career at footy but uni part time is something else I want to do.”