Peyton Manning is making sure no one forgets a teammate who died before his time.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback has endowed a scholarship at Georgia Tech in the name of Demaryius Thomas.
“Demaryius Thomas was an incredibly talented and unselfish teammate, but more importantly, he was a special person and friend,” Manning wrote in an Instagram announcement. “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.”
Manning said the scholarship will have a “lasting impact” on deserving youth from Thomas’ hometown area and go to incoming freshmen students from Laurens County, Georgia, where Thomas was born and raised.
It’s intended for students “who demonstrate significant financial need” and will include full and partial scholarships that “may be combined with other forms of aid and split to cover costs for multiple need-based students.” The scholarship will renew for recipients throughout their college career.
Known as “D.T.” to Broncos fans, he spent 10 seasons in the NFL, primarily with the Broncos. Denver selected him in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
From 2012 through 2016, Thomas was one of the NFL’s most productive wide receivers, tallying more than 1,000 receiving yards in five consecutive seasons.
He was a Super Bowl champion, winning Super Bowl 50—the final game of Manning’s career.
Thomas was with Denver for the entire duration of Manning’s four seasons with the Broncos, with the two developing explosive chemistry on the field and a close friendship off it.
Thomas played collegiately at Georgia Tech from 2006 through 2009. In addition to the scholarship, the school will celebrate Demaryius Thomas Day annually on Aug. 8. Thomas wore No. 8 at Georgia Tech and No. 88 in Denver.
Georgia Tech football will honor Thomas during the upcoming season with No. 8 helmet decals and a No. 8 memorial painted on the grass at Bobby Dodd Stadium.