When Jack walked into Richmond at the start of 2007 he had long, blondish hair with some purple through it and plenty of freckles — he looked like he’d sneezed into a milo tin!
Jack even drove a purple kombi van to match the hair.
He was a bit of a different lad and put a few people offside early with his confidence.
I wouldn’t call him arrogant but he was very confident in the way he could play and how he saw things unfolding on the field.
As Matty Richardson moved to a role more on the wing, Jack was able to spread his wings in the forward line and play that key forward role.
He won his first Coleman medal in 2010, which for a team that was 0-9, was some sort of effort.
My fondest memory of that season was the day Jack kicked 10 on the MCG against the West Coast Eagles.
That was one of the happier moments in the year for us and a huge achievement for him.
We always knew Jack had the potential to do something special.
I often played at his feet in the forward line and I don’t know whether he’d say this as well but I always felt a little bit of a connection on field with him.
He’d look for me and I’d look for him and it usually turned out with a score on the board for us.
Jack’s pretty good at finishing the work done up the field, that’s for sure!
Jack’s a larrikin and the big key forward in him loves the limelight with a fair bit of carry-on if I’m being blunt.
He just wants to be out there competing and to win at all costs. We’ve had plenty of broken table tennis bats at the club.
I’ve even seen him throw the odd golf club on the course because he’s just so competitive.
Jack really started to mature around 2013 and began to understand that the more help you got, the better player you could become.
I think in 2015 when Jack became an All-Australian was one of the seasons where he showed that he was more than a lead-out forward and had other strings to his bow.
Chris Newman and I always used to joke that he was a bit like the rain man because he could always see things happening before they actually unfolded on the ground.
One memory that stands out for Jack was the year he won the Coleman Medal in 2010.
He used to wear Asics and a Power Band strapped to his wrist but after kicking 78 goals he decided he was too good for that and wanted to move to Nike.
He struggled the first few weeks of the season after ditching the Power Band and wearing Nike so by Round 3 he’d strapped the Power Band back on and laced up the Asics again to try and recapture that form.
Jack will say that never happened but I know — I always know what boots blokes are wearing.
We’d often have dinner at my place too but Jack would only ever come if he was playing well the week before.
If he had a down week he’d say he was going to change things up — he’s a little bit superstitious in that sense.
If I had to describe Jack in three words they would be: The Big Wig.
It’s the nickname we gave him because he used to sit up the back and would be the King of Richmond. Everyone loved Jack.
I remember the day he started being sponsored by Mercedes Benz and he rolled in to Punt Road in this big, white new 4WD and Dimma said to him ‘come on mate, pull your head in! I reckon that one might need to go.’
Jack’s matured significantly since he started at the Tigers.
As a lot of young kids do, you begin to understand that the game is bigger than you just playing well every week and that you want your team to do well and win.
Jack understands that more than most — he wants to see his teammates succeed.
He’s got an unbelievable care for his mates and people for what they’re experiencing in life.
I really noticed that pre and post what happened with Maddie Riewoldt.
He’s incredibly giving of his time and is always willing to help out someone in need. I can’t speak highly enough of the bloke, although he did skip my wedding recovery day and I’ll never let him live that down.
I’ve loved watching him grow up and become the person that he is. He’s someone that I’ll call a great mate for a long period of time.
You either loved him or hated him in the early days but I’ve always warmed to him from the moment we met.
I love blokes that back themselves with their confidence and have trust in their game — Jack has that in spades. He’s never shied away from thinking he can kick the match-winning goal, to playing in the ruck or even taking Rancey’s spot down back.
He’s got that much confidence in his own ability.
Jack’s a great friend and someone who I look forward to have many beers with post our football careers.