Cotric won't get caught up in hype
Canberra Raiders winger Nick Cotric has achieved so much before the age of 20 but to those who have known him the longest, he's just like any other teenager.
Cotric was a consistent threat on Canberra's left flank in all 24 games last season, crossing the stripe 16 times in his first year in the Telstra Premiership.
His tough and rangy form often left defenders in his wake, earning him the Rookie of the Year award from the NRL and his club, along with a spot in the Emerging Blues squad.
"Yeah, my mates are pretty excited about the last year because I went to school with them, they're just really excited for me," Cotric said.
"They get really excited to see me play and they just can't believe I get to play in the top grade and they can't believe it.
"But it's good I am just one of the boys when I am with them, I'm just Nick to them."
Despite being one of the more potent attacking forces in the NRL, Cotric said there was no threat of him being caught up in his own hype.
The Valley Dragons junior paid tribute to Aidan Sezer, Jordan Rapana, Joey Leilua and even new forward Charlie Gubb for keeping his feet on the ground.
Despite looking as comfortable as a 200-game veteran, Cotric knows he cannot take his eye of the little things in his game if he is to fulfil his potential.
"I've been working on everything overall (in the off-season), fitness, simple kick and catch, dummy-half passing, I'm just trying to get all of my skill levels up," he said.
"I just wanted to make sure the simple stuff I was doing right and then the bigger things will sort themselves out."
Cotric has also bought into the mantra at the Raiders that representative honours only come through sacrifice to the club.
Being mentioned as a possible winger for the Blues is one thing, but earning that spot is another, according to the teenager.
"Being named in the Emerging Blues a massive honour for me at this stage in my career, but at the moment I'm just focusing on club footy," Cotric said.
"Trying to get better each week and get better for the club so that we can all improve and make semis this year.
"I would love to play Origin and play for Australia one day down the track. That's been my dream ever since I was little kid to get to that level one day."