Boy with autism now the ‘most popular kid in the room’ after visit from Florida State player

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After a touching photo of a Florida State football player keeping a boy with autism company during lunchtime went viral, the middle schooler is having no problem finding people to sit with, his mother says.

The photo was taken during a team visit to Montford Middle School in Tallahassee on Tuesday.

Florida State University receiver Travis Rudolph told Fox and Friends, “I grabbed two slices of pizza and I recognized Bo sitting alone so I asked him could I sit down and have lunch with him, and he said, ‘Sure, why not.”

“As soon as I sat down he introduced himself to me and said ‘Hey my name is Bo, what’s your name,’ and the conversation went from there.”

For Bo Paske, the moment was one he’s going to remember.

“It’s just so amazing that Travis and his whole team came to Montford,” a smiling Bo said. “Just like that we were eating lunch together, and he even saw my lunchbox.”

Bo’s mom Leah Paske posted this photo to Facebook that has been capturing hearts ever since:

Rudolph is the Seminoles’ leading returning receiver, and in addition to earning the praise of his coaches, gained a mother’s love, who says they’re now FSU fans for life.

“I was just overcome with emotion,” Paske said. “I was so grateful, I mean he’s a superstar here, that he would go into a crowded lunch room where I’m sure he was being waved at and flagged down and that he would choose Bo to sit with is just … I don’t even have words.”

So what’s life been like for Bo since his lunch with Rudolph?

“Yesterday in the cafeteria he was sitting at a table full of girls, he was definitely the most popular kid in the room,” Paske said. “Everyone was cheering for him and applauding.”

When asked what it was like to eat with Rudolph, Bo put it perfectly, “Well, it was kinda like me sitting on a rainbow.”