BRODIE Grundy isn't afraid to admit that he's interested in things outside of football.
But when the young Collingwood ruckman is on the field, he's only interested in one thing – the football.
And it is because of his strong form over the past month that he has earned the round 22 nomination for this year's NAB Rising Star Award.
Two days after he did battle against experienced West Coast ruckman Dean Cox at the MCG, Grundy was attending an Open Day at La Trobe University.
His teammates have often describe him as a 'different cat' – you only need to look at his unique, to say the least, hairdo.
"People can say what they like. For someone who hasn't grown up being a footy head, I don't quite fit the sterotype of a football player," Grundy told AFL.com.au.
"I'm interested in other things outside footy and I'm not afraid to admit that."
Football has not always been his sporting passion.
Before that, basketball was his sport of choice, having represented his state at under-16 level.
Grundy developed rapidly once it became clear football was his preferred option. The exciting big man wound up at Collingwood at pick 18 in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft.
However, the first half of his maiden AFL season was hindered by an ongoing back issue.
"It was really tough coming to such a big club and wanting to earn your stripes and not being able to get out on the track," Grundy said.
"So I tried to show my worth and tried to gain people's respect by just the way I went about my rehab and trying to get my body right and being meticulous with that."
But his VFL form meant it was not too long before he was strutting his stuff in the AFL.
The 19-year-old has worked closely with experienced Pies pair Darren Jolly and Ben Hudson this season, who have helped bring him up to speed with the requirements of AFL football.
"It's just been a bit of a whirlwind so far, but I'm trying not to get ahead of myself and just enjoying it for what it is at the moment," he said.