The first time Florida State football star Travis Rudolph made Bo Paske's day, all it took was a few slices of pizza and a kind gesture in Paske's school cafeteria.
On Monday, Rudolph kicked it up a notch for his new best buddy. He presented Paske, 11, who has autism, with a personalized Seminoles jersey with Rudolph's No. 15 and Paske's name on the back.
Not only that, but Rudolph gave Paske and his mother, Leah, a pair of tickets to Monday night's season opener against the University of Mississippi.
They were at sold-out Camping World Stadium in Orlando to watch Rudolph catch 6 passes for 74 yards and a touchdown as the Seminoles roared back from a 22-point deficit to win 45-34 for the biggest comeback victory in school history.
It marked the latest heartwarming moment after Rudolph had Leah in tears following his visit to Montford Middle School in Tallahassee last week as part of a community outreach program.
Rudolph saw Paske sitting alone in the cafeteria and went to sit and have some pizza with him. Leah's friend, Leon County Sheriff's Deputy Mike Halligan, took a picture of the two of them eating lunch together and sent it to her.
"Just to know that somebody who is a superstar in Tallahassee would take the time to pick Bo in the lunch room to sit with, it's been the most emotional week, I just don't have words to express how grateful I am that he took the time to chooose Bo to sit with,'' Leah told ESPN.
The photo prompted a heartfelt Facebook post by Leah thanking Rudolplh.
"I had tears streaming down my face," Leah wrote. "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."
Thanks to Rudolph's gesture, Bo is now a mini-celebrity at Montford Middle School, with classmates clamoring to sit next to him in the cafeteria, while Rudolph has gained plenty new fans of his own.
"Honestly (it’s been) an overwhelming experience," Rudolph told ESPN. "Just going through this whole atmosphere — it’s overwhelming, man. Words can’t really explain."
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