Name: Izak Rankine
Height: 180 cm
Weight: 76 kgs
Projected: Draft Range 2 - 8
You don’t even need to see him play to get an idea of just how talented Izak Rankine is, you only need to see the reactions of AFL recruiters watching on. Every time that he touches the ball, all the recruiters to quiet down and shift forward in their seats, anticipating in act of football brilliance.
They gape obviously, they smile broadly while they scribble notes, and talk loudly about his flair for the game. “How good is this kid!” You will hear this rhetoric a lot if you watch Izak, after all, there is no need to hide what you think of him when every other recruiter is thinking the same thing too.
Izak’s 2017 campaign was excellent, highlighted by the Under 17s NAB AFL All Stars game. The game consisted of 50 of the best 2018 draft eligible prospects, split into two sides named Team Enright and Team Harvey. Team Enright dominated first half, and Izak led the way with 2 goals. He was so dominant that they actually had him switch teams to Team Harvey for the second half to help bring back the 45-point deficit he had helped create. But even with his first half dominance, Izak wasn’t done dazzling and surprising us – a daring four-bounce run down the wing was a testament to that (the subsequent shot on goal just grazed the bottom of the left-hand post, but did nothing to wipe the smiles off recruiters). He finished with four goals to his name, and was named BOG.
His 2018 campaign started with a three weeks suspension for striking in the SANFL, but he has quickly shown the form that we have come to expect. He has averaged 2.3 goals, 3.7 marks, and 13.3 disposals for West Adelaide in the SANFL, and has done some classy (and some undisciplined) things for South Australia in the opening two matches of the NAB 18s Championships, including 3 goals against Vic Country.
If you haven't seen an video of Izak, I suggest that you do. If you don't have time, think of Cyril Rioli's goal sense and vision, with a bigger midfield upside. Izak is a fusion of dash, x-ray vision, goal sense, and dependable game changing and highlight real-worthy moments.
Despite the elite tall players in this draft pool, and production midfielders moving up in recruiters eyes, he is worthy of a top 5 draft pick, and will be one that we look back at and say "how did recruiters not take him higher?"
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