MOST fresh draftees would shy away from approaching a four-time premiership coach and giant of the game like Alastair Clarkson.

Not Harry Morrison, the boy from Benalla taken with one of the last picks in the 2016 draft.

The then-19-year-old had the confidence – but also the smarts – to make regular trips to Clarkson's office to eke all he could out of Hawthorn's legendary coach in his rookie season.

Morrison used all that know-how to earn himself a debut in round 23 last year and further impress himself on Clarkson with 21 disposals and six marks in a composed display.

RISING STAR Check out all the nominees

The coach then labelled him as one of the emerging Hawks with the most potential to be a future star in February this year.

"He had a knee reconstruction at TAC Cup level, has played one game of AFL footy and played really, really well," Clarkson told on season eve.

"He has the temperament to become a really fine player. Will he get to A-grade status? It is too early to say definitively, but there are signs that he could."

Clarkson's crystal-ball gazing made its way back to Morrison, who scored the round 20 NAB AFL Rising Star nomination from his 17th game on Saturday.

It's generally a good thing when you receive rich praise, but this Hawk prefers to "quietly sneak under the radar", which is why even his Rising Star nomination sits a bit uneasily with him.

But getting to know Clarkson in his first season was a top priority for Morrison.

"I tried to get into his office as much as I could to build that relationship," Morrison told

"I sat down with him to see where I was at and to chat in general, so we could build that relationship, whereas now it's more about footy and that sort of thing.

"He's been really good this year, especially one on one, with telling me where I'm at on little things no one else would think make a difference – but they do."

That doesn't mean things have come easy in season two for Morrison, one of four Benalla products in the AFL, along with his cousin Tom Rockliff, Jarrad Waite and Caleb Marchbank.

He had to wait until round three to play his second AFL game – "I had to get my head around that" – and took a one-week break a fortnight ago to rest his body as the physical demands took their toll.

The rest did the trick judging by his return against Essendon at the weekend, where Morrison compiled 22 disposals, eight score involvements, six marks and four intercept possessions.

More importantly, Hawthorn won a four-point thriller to keep its charge towards finals on track ahead of a second straight Saturday afternoon blockbuster against Geelong this week.

"It's pretty exciting at the moment. The feeling around the club is as good as it's been all year," he said.

"We got through the mid-part of the year, which was a bit of a grind, but the excitement is starting to build.

"We can all see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, so we are all just working hard and hopefully we're going to play some good footy."