Inaugural ‘Demaryius Thomas Day’ Ceremony at Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech great Demaryius Thomas was memorialized at Bobby Dodd Stadium last week as school officials held the first annual “Demaryius Thomas Day” at Georgia Tech.
Georgia Tech President Angel Cabrera, athletic director Todd Stansbury, coach Geoff Collins, Thomas’ Yellow Jackets teammates Morgan Burnett and Josh Nesbitt, state and local government officials, as well as pro-Football Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, a teammate of Thomas’ with the Broncos, attended the ceremony.
Thomas, 33, died unexpectedly on December 9, 2021, at his home in Roswell. The cause of his death has been reported to be complications from a seizure disorder.
On the Tech field where he had become an All-American and a school legend, Thomas was remembered and his memory honored on a day that the institute has established as Demaryius Thomas Day.
State and city proclamations honoring Thomas were read while Manning delivered an address. He attended the ceremony with his wife Ashley. The two jointly endowed a scholarship in Thomas’ memory to help students from Laurens County attend Tech. “Demaryius was the best teammate and an even better person,” Manning said. “With the Broncos, he was the most unselfish teammate I ever played with. He always put the team before himself. Off the field, he was a caring, giving, and gentle old soul. He was a hero to my kids like he was for so many others, and he made a tremendous impact in communities here in Georgia and in Colorado.”
The numerical date (8/8) honored Thomas’ jersey number with the Yellow Jackets (8) as an All-American wide receiver and the No. 88 he wore with the Denver Broncos when he made four Pro Bowls and helped the team to the Super Bowl 50 championship in 2016.
At the end of the ceremony, Manning, Burnett, and Thomas’ parents Katina Smith and Bobby Thomas pulled back a tarp on the field to reveal a “DT8” logo between the 20- and 30- yard lines on the north side of the field. Manning stood by Smith, admiring the design together.
“This is a bittersweet day,” Manning said. “We are so appreciative of Georgia Tech making this all happen, but we miss him, and we’ll never stop missing him.”
Thomas’ memory and impact will endure at his alma mater as August 8 will forever be known as Demaryius Thomas Day at Georgia Tech. His presence will be known by students from his native Laurens County who will be able to attend Tech thanks to a scholarship in his name for as long as the institute stands.