ATLANTA — Peyton Manning has set up a scholarship in honor of his former teammate Demaryius Thomas at Georgia Tech.
Thomas died in December at his home in suburban Atlanta, apparently of a medical crisis. He was 33 years old.
The PeyBack Foundation, a charity created by Manning and his wife Ashley, announced Wednesday that it will fund scholarships in the receiver’s name at his alma mater.
Financial aid will be available to freshmen in Laurens County, the corner of central Georgia where Thomas was born and raised, or surrounding areas.
« Demaryius Thomas was an incredibly talented and selfless teammate, but more importantly, he was an amazing person and friend, » Manning said in a statement.
« My family and I miss him dearly, and we wanted to honor DT’s memory. »
Thomas played at Georgia Tech from 2006 to 2009. He was then a first-round pick of the Broncos, for whom he played from 2010 to 2017.
After the team signed Manning as a quarterback, Denver reached the Super Bowl twice, winning the title to cap the 2015 season.
Thomas finished his career with 724 receptions for 9,763 yards, including 63 touchdowns.
He also played with the Texans, Patriots and Jets before retiring after the 2019 season.
« An important part of Demaryius’ legacy was how he inspired the next generation to pursue their dreams with the same perseverance and determination that defined him, » Manning said.
“Through this scholarship, Demaryius will have a lasting impact on deserving young people in his region, who can follow in his footsteps and achieve great things in life. »