| March 22, 2018

Column: A Positive Impact

September 8, 2016

The top Google results for the Florida State Football team don’t shed the best light on the ACC program. Player arrests and team controversies appear first.

However, digging beyond the negative headlines, one can find a more heartwarming story. At the heart of this story is Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph and sixth grade student Bo Paske.

A key Seminoles offense player is expected to make headlines, but most probably would not expect an autistic 6th grade student to be in the mix.

The unlikely match came when several team members stopped by Montford Middle School in Tallahassee, Florida. Rudolph saw Paske eating lunch alone and decided to eat with him.

The impact of Rudolph’s actions reach far beyond the young boy, who, according to his mother Leah Paske, sits alone at lunch.

Leah recalls many days asking her son if he ate with anyone. He usually says no. So when she received a text with a photo of her son eating with Rudolph she said she felt connected to the team.

Bo’s mother shared the story on Facebook, praising the player for his kind actions.

Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said he was proud of Rudolph’s actions.

This incident might have given Florida State some good karma going into their first game

against the No. 12 Ole Miss. It was a game of uncertainties, yet Florida State prevailed in the 45-34 win.

Going forward into the 2016 football season the Seminoles stand strong. Florida State is ranked No. 3 currently. Yet win or lose, there is one fan they know they will always be able to count on.

Meredith Spelbring can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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