On Wednesday, the Georgia Tech football program announced that it would honour late wide receiver Demaryius Thomas by wearing a helmet decal with his No. 8 this fall and presenting a scholarship in his name.
The scholarship – which was established by a charitable organization founded by former quarterback Peyton Manning, Thomas’ teammate with the Denver Broncos from 2012-15 – will be given to an incoming freshman from Laurens County, Ga., or from surrounding areas who demonstrate significant financial need and academic achievement.
“Demaryius Thomas was an incredibly talented and unselfish teammate, but more importantly, he was a special person and friend,” Manning said in a statement. “My family and I miss him dearly, and we wanted to honour D.T.’s memory by partnering the PeyBack Foundation with Georgia Tech to establish the Demaryius A. Thomas Scholarship Endowment.
“An important part of Demaryius’ legacy was the way he inspired the next generation to pursue their dreams with the same perseverance and determination that defined him. Through this scholarship to Georgia Tech, Demaryius will have a lasting impact on deserving youth from his hometown area who can follow in his footsteps and accomplish great things in life.”
Thomas caught 113 passes for 2,135 yards and 13 touchdowns in his four-year career with the Yellow Jackets from 2006 to ’09, helping the program capture back-to-back ACC Coastal Division titles. He became just the 12th first-round pick in Georgia Tech history when the Broncos selected him with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Thomas caught 724 passes for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns in his 10-year NFL career with the Broncos, Houston Texans, New England Patriots and New York Jets. That includes one catch for eight yards in a victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
The Broncos notably wore a helmet decal and painted Thomas’ No. 88 on the grass at Empower Field at Mile High late last season after he was found dead in his home on Dec. 9, resulting from medical complications stemming from a vehicle crash that occurred in 2019. He was just 33 years old.
In addition to the decal and scholarship, Georgia Tech will paint his number on the field at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The university will also recognize Aug. 8 as Demaryius Thomas Day as a nod to his numbers in college and the NFL.
Photo courtesy of @GeorgiaTechFB on Twitter.