Peyton Manning remembered his Broncos teammate Demaryius Thomas as “a better person than a player” after Thomas died in December and he announced plans to honor Thomas’ memory by helping send others to college.
Manning’s foundation will partner with Georgia Tech to establish a scholarship endowment in Thomas’ memory. The endowment will create academic scholarships to attend Georgia Tech for incoming freshmen from Laurens County, Georgia or surrounding areas. Thomas was born and raised in Laurens County before going to school at Georgia Tech.
“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 honor 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.”
Georgia Tech also announced that August 8 will be an annual celebration of Thomas’ life because he wore No. 8 at the school and No. 88 with the Broncos. They will announce the name of a player chosen to wear the No. 8, recognize scholarship recipients, and partner with local organizations for community service efforts during each year’s event.