Demaryius Thomas, former Georgia Tech and NFL star dies at 33
The sudden death of 33-year-old Demaryius Thomas has left family, friends, fans, and the sports world shaken.
Demaryius Thomas’ story was one that grabbed you and left an indelible mark on our hearts. Yes, we knew him for professional stats and his prowess on the football field, but to really know former NFL player Demaryius Thomas, you must know his personal story of perseverance in the face of adversity that did not stop him from pursuing his dreams and achieving greatness as a world class professional football player.
Thomas’ story was one that tore at our heartstrings when we read about him and commanded us to root for his success. His story was not one of a stable home with a house, a yard, and a white picket fence. It was the opposite.
Thomas found himself moving from place to place, living in at least seven different homes while growing up. At the youthful age of 11, he saw his mother and grandmother both go to federal prison. As for his father, he was a military man who was absent due to Army commitments. The difficulties of his upbringing were used to fuel his passion to excel in sports.
Thomas leaned forward and pushed to achieve a remarkable football career. He starred at West Laurens High before accepting a scholarship to Georgia Tech. Thomas was considered to be a gifted player on the college level with speed, power, eye-hand coordination, and determination.
As an All-American and a first-team All-ACC selection in 2009, he was well known and liked for his dominating play. When he left college, Thomas was selected as a first-round draft pick to the Denver Broncos. The star wide receiver played 10 seasons, made five Pro Bowls, and won Super Bowl 50 with the Denver Broncos. After a decade of playing at a prominent level, Thomas retired from the NFL in June of this year.
Thomas’ life story was one that left an indelible mark on our hearts. His passing has also found its mark as it pierced our consciousness. It is painful where it now rests as we wish the last chapter in Thomas’ young life story could have been different.
Thomas died Thursday, six months after he announced his retirement from the NFL and a few days shy of his 34th birthday, which would have been on Christmas Day.
It was in his home in Roswell where Police say they found Thomas’ body. They linked his death to a medical emergency saying, “Preliminary information is that his death stems from a medical issue, and our investigators currently have no reason to believe otherwise.” Officer Tim Lupo, public information officer for the Roswell police department, shared on Friday.
Thomas’ cousin, LaTonya Bonseigneur, said she believes the medical issue was a seizure and said he had been dealing with them for a while now. Bonseigneur told the AP, “He had been suffering from seizures for over a year, and we believe he had a seizure when he was showering. He was alone and a friend couldn’t get hold of him, so he called his driver, who has a key because of these seizures, and he went into his home and found him in the shower.”
A police incident report USA Today Sports obtained says Officers responded to a 911 call regarding a cardiac arrest at Thomas’ home around 7 p.m. on Thursday. They were led to the bathroom by the person who made the call, likely the driver Bonseigneur referenced, and found Thomas’ body in the shower. He was pronounced dead shortly afterward.
Police say the cause and manner of death are still pending. An autopsy by the Fulton County medical examiner’s office will be done Friday.
Thomas’ high school coach, Laurens County athletic director Jeff Clayton
Claytonaid in an email, “To say we are all heartbroken is an understatement.”