Georgia Tech has a new scholarship, with Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning launching the fund at Georgia Tech to honor his friend and ex-teammate, Demaryius Thomas.
Thomas, who previously played for Georgia Tech as a wide receiver, passed away on December 9, 2021. He was just 33 years old.
The Demaryius Thomas Scholarship Endowment was created through Manning’s PeyBack Foundation. The fund will provide academic scholarships to incoming freshmen from Laurens County, Georgia, where Thomas was born and raised, and surrounding communities. Full or partial scholarships are set to be awarded annually, with qualified students receiving the incentive until their graduation from Georgia Tech.
Manning released a statement on Wednesday:
“Demaryius Thomas was an incredibly talented and unselfish teammate, but more importantly, he was a special person and friend. 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.
“An important part of Demaryius’ legacy was the way he inspired the next generation to pursue their dreams with the same perseverance and determination that defined him. Through this scholarship to Georgia Tech, Demaryius will have a lasting impact on deserving youth from his hometown area who can follow in his footsteps and accomplish great things in life,” the Hall of Famer said.
In honor of the late Thomas, Georgia Tech has announced that August 8 will be recognized as Demaryius Thomas Day every year. In a statement to ESPN, Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury stated that the school is grateful for the new scholarship fund.
“We are grateful to Peyton and Ashley Manning and the PeyBack Foundation for establishing the Demaryius Thomas Scholarship. Thanks to their generous contribution, Demaryius’ legacy will be carried on through Georgia Tech students from Laurens County and surrounding areas for years to come, and his memory will be celebrated each year during our 8/8 Day recognitions,” Stansbury said.