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Though Peyton Manning had a stellar career as an NFL QB with both the Colts and the Broncos and won a Super Bowl with each team, he has also remained loyal to his teammates even after his retirement, and he demonstrated that loyalty once again this week. Manning and his wife Ashley have now established a scholarship endowment to honor the late Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas.
Sadly, Thomas was found dead at his home on December 9, 2021, just a couple weeks shy of his 34th birthday. According to Alejandro Avila of OutKick, it is believed that he died of a seizure. He had been suffering from seizures, which Sports Illustrated reports may have been related to a car accident in 2019, for some time. He was not married and had no children, but was beloved by family, friends and teammates.
Manning says that Thomas was “a better person than a player,” per Front Office Sports.
Manning and his wife decided to carry on Thomas’ legacy through a scholarship at his alma mater, Georgia Tech University. Front Office Sports reports that the Demaryius A. Thomas Scholarship Endowment will assist incoming GTU freshmen who originate from Laurens County, Georgia, the same county that Thomas once called home.
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In his short life, Thomas had a stellar career of his own. He totaled 9,763 yard and 63 touchdowns in ten years in the NFL. He made career stops with the Houston Texans, New England Patriots, the New York Jets, and the Denver Broncos, where he and Manning won Super Bowl 50 together in 2016.
Georgia Tech plans to honor Thomas on August 8. Thomas wore No. 8 at GTU and No. 88 with the Broncos.