Viral FSU Football Star Eats Lunch With Autistic Boy Who Was Sitting Alone
When Florida State University football players visited a Tallahassee middle school, one of them noticed a boy eating lunch by himself in the cafeteria.
Wide receiver Travis Rudolph, who led the Seminoles in receiving last year, walked up to sixth-grader Bo Paske and asked if he could sit with him.
A photo was snapped and shared with Bo's mom, Leah Paske, who was brought to tears by the kind gesture.
She shared the photo on Facebook in an emotional post, revealing that Bo is autistic and often eats lunch by himself.
“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,” she 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."
“Travis Rudolph thank you so much, you made this momma exceedingly happy, and have made us fans for life!”
Rudolph, Bo and Leah, who was overwhelmed with emotion, joined Fox and Friends Thursday morning.
"[Travis] is a superstar here. That he would go into a crowded lunchroom, where I'm sure he was being waved at and flagged down, and that he would choose Bo to sit with ... I don't even have words to express how grateful I am," she said.
Leah said her son eats alone sometimes, but not every day, explaining that she has "anxiety" in general about her son going to middle school.
"He doesn't seem to mind. He's actually got a really good spirit about it. I think it upsets me more than him," Leah said, adding that the following day Bo had a full table of kids sitting with him.
Bo said it was "amazing" and said Travis "even signed my lunchbox!"
Travis said Bo is a "great person" and he's happy that this story is going viral.
"I just want [people] to be aware that everybody's the same and one man can make a difference," said Rudolph, whose Seminoles will begin their season on Labor Day against Ole Miss.
Watch the powerful interview above.