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Florida State wide receiver finds a new teammate.

Florida State Wide Receiver Travis Rudolph visits with his new teammate Bo Paske and his mom Leah.

The lacrosse field or the football field are not the only places student-athletes can do remakable things.

Last week, Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph made national news after his humble display of leadership changed a young man's life.

Along with several teammates, Rudolph visited Montford Middle School in Tallahassee on Tuesday when he noticed a student sitting by himself. That student was Bo Paske, a sixth grader with autism. Rudolph sat down at the same table has Paske and spent the entire lunch period with him.

Leah Paske shared a post on Facebook thanking Rudolph for the gesture and explained how normally her son eats by himself at lunch. What Rudolph did brought her to tears.

“I'm not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I'm happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten,” Paske wrote. “This is one day I didn't have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes.”

A parent sent Bo’s mom a photo of Bo sitting with the FSU receiver, and she detailed the visit in a Facebook post.

Several times lately I have tried to remember my time in middle school, did I like all my teachers, do I even remember them? Did I have many friends? Did I sit with anyone at lunch? Just how mean were kids really? I remember one kid on the bus called me "Tammy Fay Baker" bc I started awkwardly wearing eye liner in the sixth grade, I remember being tough and calling him a silly name back, but when he couldn't see me anymore I cried. I do remember middle school being scary, and hard. Now that I have a child starting middle school, I have feelings of anxiety for him, and they can be overwhelming if I let them. Sometimes I'm grateful for his autism. That may sound like a terrible thing to say, but in some ways I think, I hope, it shields him. He doesn't seem to notice when people stare at him when he flaps his hands. He doesn't seem to notice that he doesn't get invited to birthday parties anymore. And he doesn't seem to mind if he eats lunch alone. It's one of my daily questions for him. Was there a time today you felt sad? Who did you eat lunch with today? Sometimes the answer is a classmate, but most days it's nobody. Those are the days I feel sad for him, but he doesn't seem to mind. He is a super sweet child, who always has a smile and hug for everyone he meets. A friend of mine sent this beautiful picture to me today and when I saw it with the caption "Travis Rudolph is eating lunch with your son" I replied "who is that?" He said "FSU football player", then I had tears streaming down my face. Travis Rudolph, a wide receiver at Florida State, and several other FSU players visited my sons school today. I'm not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I'm happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten. This is one day I didn't have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes. Travis Rudolph thank you so much, you made this momma exceedingly happy, and have made us fans for life! #travisrudolph #gonoles #FSU #autismmom #fansforlife

She and her son are now both fans of the football program for what they did.

“Travis Rudolph thank you so much, you made this momma exceedingly happy, and have made us fans for life!”

Rudolph told the inquiring press that he had two pieces of pizza for lunch while he sat across from Bo Paske. He said the two “had a great conversation.”

“He started off and was so open. He told me his name was Bo, and how much he loves Florida State, and he went from there,” Rudolph said.

The receiver led the team in receiving last season with 916 yards and Bo asked him if he was an NFL player. Rudolph told him “not yet.”

“It was really easy to [talk] with him,” Rudolph said. “He had a nice smile on his face. He was a really warm person.”

Rudolph reunited with Bo Paske last Monday before the fourth-ranked Seminoles faced No. 11 Mississippi.

Rudolph surprised Paske and his mother, Leah, by giving Bo a personalized Florida State jersey and tickets to the game during an interview on ESPN at the team's hotel.

Florida State went on to win the opener 45-34 over the Rebels. Rudolph had 6 catches for 74 yards and a touchdown.
 



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