Travis Rudolph, a Florida State University football player, joined Bo Paske for lunch when he noticed the 6th grader was eating alone

By Lindsay Kimble
Updated August 31, 2016 12:05 PM
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One simple act of kindness has made college football player Travis Rudolph a “hero” in the eyes of a Florida mother.

The Florida State University wide receiver was visiting Montford Middle School in Tallahassee on Tuesday, when he noticed a sixth grader eating lunch alone, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

“I saw him sitting there by himself and I got a plate of pizza and I asked him, can I sit with him, and he said, ‘Sure, why not,’ ” Rudolph, 20, said.

That little boy was Bo Paske, a student with autism, his mother Leah Paske revealed on Facebook in a heartwarming post.

Leah wrote that Bo often eats lunch alone, and although he doesn’t seem to mind, she feels sad for him.

“He is a super sweet child, who always has a smile and hug for everyone he meets,” she said. “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.’ ”

Not immediately familiar with Rudolph, a junior at FSU, Leah said that she had “tears streaming down [her] face” when she learned he was a star athlete.

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“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!”

Of the act of kindness, Rudolph told the Tallahassee Democrat that he was just following the example set by other football players.

“I was just a kid not too long ago and I remember what the impact was when I seen guys that play college football or in the NFL coming back to us, so I think, maybe I could change someone’s life,” he said.

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Rudolph was at the middle school with teammates Dalvin Cook, Derwin James, Deondre Francois and Jalen Wilkerson, according to the Seminoles’ website.

The fast friends had a “real easy” conversation, according to Rudolph, and Bo had a “nice smile” on his face.