TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Not only is Cam Akers among the country’s best running backs, he’s got a pretty sharp memory, too.
Two weeks ago, after running for 193 yards and two touchdowns in Florida State’s overtime victory over ULM, Akers was making his way toward the locker room when a young fan caught his attention.
David Fuentes, an 11-year-old from Fleming Island, Fla., asked Akers if he could have his game-worn gloves as a souvenir.
And Akers might have been happy to oblige, except for one problem. He’d already promised the gloves to his brother.
Then, as quickly as he cuts past opposing defenders, Akers thought of a solution.
“He said, ‘If you come to my next home game, I’ll give you one of my gloves,’” said Fuentes, according to a report by WJXT Channel 4 in Jacksonville.
At the time, Fuentes’ mother, Monique, thought it was a nice thing to say, but she had her doubts that Akers would follow through.
After all, the Seminoles’ next home game wasn’t for another two weeks, and what were the odds that Fuentes and Akers would even cross paths again?
“I told him, ‘Don’t get your hopes up, he might not remember you,’” she said.
Two weeks and another heroic Akers performance later – 112 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-24 victory over Louisville – the scene played out again:
Akers, tired and sore, moving toward the locker room while Fuentes waited in the front row, hoping for a lifelong souvenir from one of his heroes.
Akers spotted him, remembered his promise and made good on it.
“I recognized him as soon as he called my name,” Akers said.
Within a few seconds, his oversized, garnet-and-gold gloves – complete with Akers’ initials and jersey number printed on the inside – were on Fuentes’ hands.
“I was surprised that he remembered me,” Fuentes said. “I was like, ‘This is so cool. This might be a once-in-a-time experience.
“I’m going to put them in a special place. … Cam is my favorite player.”
And it was a special moment for Akers, who, despite having enough Florida State gloves and gear to fill a large closet, understood that his meeting with Fuentes was about much more than a sweaty pair of gloves.
“It means a lot to be able to make his day,” Akers said. “I know kids look up to me, so to be able to put a smile on his face was great.
“It’s always a goal of mine to make kids happy and give them memories they’ll have their whole life. Since high school I’ve taken pride in spending time with children. They look up to us and it’s important to me to be a positive role model.”