The sudden, brutal nature of Jharal Yow Yeh's premature NRL retirement is all the reminding Brisbane forward Patrick Carrigan needs when he contemplates skipping a university lecture.
Carrigan has spent his off-season getting on top of his physiotherapy studies at the University of Queensland, where this month he became just the third rugby league player in more than 100 years to be honoured with a full blue award for outstanding sporting achievements.
The 21-year-old, forced his way into the Broncos' first-choice side and played 19 games in a promising debut season.
But staying on top of his studies will remain an important part of Carrigan's life, thanks in part to Yow Yeh's occasional reminders.
The former winger's career was cut down when he was just 22 after a gruesome compound ankle fracture still ranked among the sport's worst injuries.
Still on staff at the club, the man tipped for big things is making sure those now in similar situations aren't taking it for granted.
"I like to lean on Jharal a bit and he's always into me to keep studying because he was at the peak of his game at 22 and his career changed like that," Carrigan said.
"There's days I don't want to go to uni, but it's a conscious reminder to tick it off if anything was to happen."
A keen learner, Carrigan often quizzes the Broncos' medical staff but said teammate Matt Lodge will be disappointed when he completes his practical assessment elsewhere.
"I keep copping it; Lodgy's into me saying when I do prac he'll jump on table for calf and groin rubs all day, so I'm definitely not going to do it here," he said.
"Traditionally rugby league players aren't known for their brains - without being rude, it' a blue collar game and that's great - but each to the their own and there's plenty of footy players to do amazing things, start businesses and things like that.
"But what you do outside of the game in the community is more a testament of your character than what you do as an occupation."
Carrigan has returned for pre-season training motivated and in peak condition thanks to plenty of extras since the side's humbling finals exit.
"We felt we had a bit more to give and I don't want to experience that again," he said.
"It's going to be a big year not just for the forward pack, but as a team."
Australian Associated Press