When fans or fellow players approach Jammie Kirlew for a conversation, football traditionally is the first topic of discussion.

But if they can find away to turn the conversation away from the gridiron, they might be in for quite a story.

"I try to harp on them as much as I can how important it is to be a student athlete and not just be an athlete," said the senior defensive end of his conversations with fellow teammates.

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Kirlew should know, as his resume off the field features a creative mix of extracurricular fare that extends outside the United States, and takes a slice out of Hollywood.

"I couldn't do it," said quarterback Ben Chappell of Kirlew's schedule. "I know that for a fact. He's a one of a kind guy."

It starts with his summer abroad in Italy three summer ago, which he studied the Florence Renaissance. After that he worked with Students For Barack Obama, going door-to-door to get students and people in Bloomington to vote. Then this past spring, he teamed up with fellow Hoosier football player Terrance Turner to make a film a campus contest.

Thats what's gonna carry on through the rest of your life....doing things outside the field," said Kirlew of his off the field activities.

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But if he keeps it up on the gridiron, he might be there for a little longer. 2008 saw Kirlew break through as the defensive end, collecting 10.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss, serving as one of the bright spots for a down Hoosier season.

"Jammie just took a different approach to how he got ready for the season," said linebacker Will Patterson of Kirlew's 2008 improvement. "Just gameday preparation and how he went about things and the way he carried himself."

That has put Kirlew on a few award watch lists this preseason, including the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year award, to which he was a finalist in 2008. It has also helped to put the Orlando, Fla. native's name into the hat of possible draft picks for the 2010 NFL draft.

"I'm definitely gonna work hard my last year and help lead my team and try to do the best we can here, our goal is the Big Ten Championship," said Kirlew. "Then after that just start training and see where I end up afterwords."

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Whenever the defensive end's career comes to an end, he says he'll return to Bloomington to study law, either with an emphasis on politics or spots law. Head coach Bill Lynch, however, expect Kirlew to get his shot in the NFL, and whatever he'd like to do after that.

"Somebody that competes as hard as he does on the field but is so engaged in not only in the campus community but the Bloomington community," said Lynch of Kirlew during his time at IU. "He's got such a great future because he really is an intelligent guy that gets along with people, so he'll go a long way."