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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Corridor of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning has created a scholarship fund at Georgia Tech to honor his buddy and former teammate Demaryius Thomas.
Thomas, a former Georgia Tech extensive receiver and Georgia native, died Dec. 9 at age 33.
The Demaryius Thomas Scholarship Endowment, created by way of Manning’s PeyBack Basis, will award tutorial scholarships to incoming freshmen from Laurens County, Georgia, the place Thomas was born and raised, or surrounding communities who show important monetary want and tutorial achievement. Full or partial scholarships will likely be awarded yearly, and college students will obtain the scholarships till they graduate from Georgia Tech.
“Demaryius Thomas was an extremely gifted and unselfish teammate, however extra importantly, he was a particular individual and buddy,” Manning stated Wednesday in an announcement. “My household and I miss him dearly, and we needed to honor D.T.’s reminiscence by partnering the PeyBack Basis with Georgia Tech to ascertain the Demaryius A. Thomas Scholarship Endowment.
“An essential a part of Demaryius’ legacy was the best way he impressed the subsequent era to pursue their desires with the identical perseverance and willpower that outlined him. Via this scholarship to Georgia Tech, Demaryius could have an enduring influence on deserving youth from his hometown space who can comply with in his footsteps and attain nice issues in life.”
Georgia Tech additionally introduced that Aug. 8 will likely be acknowledged as Demaryius Thomas Day every year; Thomas’ uniform quantity on the college was No. 8. The recipient of the scholarship will likely be acknowledged that day as nicely.
Yellow Jackets gamers may also put on a No. 8 decal on their helmets within the 2022 season.
“We’re grateful to Peyton and Ashley Manning and the PeyBack Basis for establishing the Demaryius Thomas Scholarship,” Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury stated in an announcement. “Due to their beneficiant contribution, Demaryius’ legacy will likely be carried on by way of Georgia Tech college students from Laurens County and surrounding areas for years to return and his reminiscence will likely be celebrated every year throughout our 8/8 Day recognitions.”
Thomas was a first-round decide by the Denver Broncos within the 2010 NFL draft and spent 9 seasons with the group, together with all 4 of Manning’s seasons in Denver. He completed his profession because the Broncos’ second-leading receiver (9,055 yards), behind solely Rod Smith, and is third in franchise historical past in catches (655) behind Smith and Corridor of Famer Shannon Sharpe.
With the arrival of Manning to the Broncos in 2012, Thomas had no less than 90 receptions and 1,300 yards in 4 consecutive seasons, becoming a member of Corridor of Famers Marvin Harrison and Jerry Rice in addition to former Rams extensive receiver Torry Holt as the one gamers to achieve these totals over 4 consecutive seasons.
Within the Broncos’ record-setting 2013 season, when Denver scored a single-season document 606 factors and Manning set NFL data for passing yards (5,477) and touchdowns (55), Thomas completed with a career-best 14 touchdowns. The subsequent season, Thomas completed with a career-best 1,619 receiving yards.
In all, Thomas set 16 Broncos franchise data, together with his 1,619-yard season and his 33 profession 100-yard video games.
Enjoying 10 seasons total with the Broncos, Houston Texans and New York Jets, Thomas completed his NFL profession with 724 catches for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns.
At Georgia Tech, Thomas was a first-team All-ACC choice in 2009 and formally recorded 113 receptions for two,135 yards and 13 touchdowns over three seasons.
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