There was a moment where Joe Williams was worried about Isaah Yeo.
It was in 2012, when former NRL player Williams was back in Dubbo and serving as the captain-coach of CYMS.
A rangy and versatile Yeo was one of a number of leading Fishies under 18s players who Williams handed a Group 11 first grade debut to that season.
But the captain-coach was left wondering if he'd made the right choice when one game the teenage Yeo was hammered in a head-high tackle.
"I felt horrible," Williams said.
"It was a bad shot and a fairly significantly bad one. I was really concerned about how he'd bounce back because that can ruin a kid's mental ability and confidence.
"But he was fantastic the way he bounced back and that attitude is the biggest thing."
Williams, someone who has played at the highest level, knew Yeo was a player who could go and make a name for himself because of that attitude and dedication.
Those aspects are still being recognised by others now and it's what has the Penrith back-rower firmly in the conversation around State of Origin selection.
NSW coach Brad Fittler stated last week the St John's junior was "on the radar" after producing outstanding and consistent performances for the Panthers.
After proving a versatile option at Penrith for a number of years Yeo had made the lock position his own in recent times and produced his best performance of the season last weekend when scoring a try and running for 173m in a win over the Gold Coast Titans.
"He won't let you down," Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary told NRL.com after that game.
"And I think with any Origin coach that is the probably first thing they want.
"He has been one of our best each week and potentially was our best today, so that is all you can do."
Williams speaks of Yeo in the same regard.
As someone who knows how gruelling it is to play regularly in the NRL having represented South Sydney, Penrith and the Bulldogs, Williams marvels at the consistency of Yeo.
"Your attitude has got to be pretty switched on to do that over 26 weeks over a number of years," Williams said.
"It's a gruelling thing to be able to do and I couldn't do it. That's why I was in and out of first grade."
It's because of that Williams can see Yeo pulling on a sky blue jersey later this year when the Origin series is played.
"It's no surprise he's kicked on and the best thing is he's just a good guy. He's a really, really good kid," Williams said.
"You've only got to look at his versatility and his consistency. He rarely has a bad game because of his attitude to detail on the little things.
"I can see him playing rep footy and many, many first grade games."
Williams added a huge amount of the 25-year-old Yeo's success comes down to his upbringing and the impact of his father, Justin.
Not only a father and under 18s coach during Isaah's time at CYMS, Justin also played in the NRL for North Sydney and Balmain and Williams said the guidance and experience provided is something invaluable.
"You can't underestimate the impact his dad has had," Williams said.
Yeo and the Panthers next meet Manly on Saturday night.