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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Corridor of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning has created a scholarship fund at Georgia Tech to honor his pal and former teammate Demaryius Thomas.

Thomas, a former Georgia Tech vast receiver and Georgia native, died Dec. 9 at age 33.

The Demaryius Thomas Scholarship Endowment, created by 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 reveal important monetary want and tutorial achievement. Full or partial scholarships might be awarded yearly, and college students will obtain the scholarships till they graduate from Georgia Tech.

“Demaryius Thomas was an extremely proficient and unselfish teammate, however extra importantly, he was a particular individual and pal,” Manning mentioned Wednesday in an announcement. “My household and I miss him dearly, and we wished to honor D.T.’s reminiscence by partnering the PeyBack Basis with Georgia Tech to ascertain the Demaryius A. Thomas Scholarship Endowment.

“An necessary a part of Demaryius’ legacy was the best way he impressed the following technology to pursue their desires with the identical perseverance and dedication that outlined him. By means of this scholarship to Georgia Tech, Demaryius could have a long-lasting influence on deserving youth from his hometown space who can observe in his footsteps and achieve nice issues in life.”

Georgia Tech additionally introduced that Aug. 8 might be acknowledged as Demaryius Thomas Day every year; Thomas’ uniform quantity on the faculty was No. 8. The recipient of the scholarship might be acknowledged that day as effectively.

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 mentioned in an announcement. “Because of their beneficiant contribution, Demaryius’ legacy might be carried on by Georgia Tech college students from Laurens County and surrounding areas for years to come back and his reminiscence might be celebrated every year throughout our 8/8 Day recognitions.”

Thomas was a first-round choose by the Denver Broncos within the 2010 NFL draft and spent 9 seasons with the workforce, 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 at the least 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 vast receiver Torry Holt as the one gamers to succeed in these totals over 4 consecutive seasons.

Within the Broncos’ record-setting 2013 season, when Denver scored a single-season file 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.

Taking part in 10 seasons general 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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