Florida State fan Payton Poulin has brought extra inspiration to the Seminoles as they prepare for Thursday's College Football Playoff semifinal.
Poulin, who according to media reports suffers from schizencephaly, which is similar to cerebral palsy, walked dozens of yards with the team after Tuesday's practice. Jameis Winston and DeMarcus Walker assisted the FSU student while other players and coaches surrounded the trio and encouraged Poulin.
Winston posted a photo of the moment on his Instagram account.
S/O to my dawg Peyton showing what love faith and hope can do he walked 40yards today after practice. That walk was so motivational and inspiring but we all control our own destiny and anything is possible I'm and truly blessed to have him as a part of our family #GoPeytonGo #NoleFamily
A photo posted by Jaboo Winston (@jaboowins5) on
"We love you, buddy. You're part of our family," coach Jimbo Fisher said, embracing Poulin.
"Payton just ran a 40 in 4.4," Winston said with a smile.
"Anything can be achieved, and not just on this football field. This is way beyond what goes on on this field."Jimbo Fisher
Poulin, 20, has been a die-hard Seminoles fan since he was 4, his father, Patrick Poulin, told the Orlando Sentinel. He is a fixture at Florida State practice, with Fisher saying he hasn't missed a session in two years.
Poulin stood for the first time in June, according to the Sentinel.
"They thought he would never walk again," Fisher said.
According to the Sentinel, Florida State alumni and fans helped pay for Poulin to join the Seminoles in California, where they are getting ready for the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual.
"Anything can be achieved, and not just on this football field," Fisher told his players after Poulin's walk. "This is way beyond what goes on on this field, guys."
"It's amazing what these kids do and the influence they have on people, and the love they have," Fisher told reporters.
"He's what life's about."
Patrick Poulin "could barely even watch" his son's walk with the Seminoles, he told the Sentinel.
"It was amazing to see your son, he's so inspired by this team and so inspired as a person himself to be a better person," he said, according to the newspaper. "Payton is such an amazing kid and, just, what a great inspiration he is. It's very emotional for me."
"He's had to work extra hard to get here," he added. "It's jut really a great, amazing story and an amazing kid."