Pro Football Hall of Famer Peyton Manning was well-liked by teammates, fans and opponents alike. Upon his arrival in Denver during the 2012 season, he quickly befriended wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. The two clicked on and off the field.
Peyton Manning And Demaryius Thomas Were Great Friends
The Manning-Thomas relationship went well beyond the gridiron, and Manning the former five-time NFL MVP, took his surprising death very hard.
To this day Manning says he often thinks about Thomas and even sees him on Sundays. That’s an ode to the playmaking ability that Thomas displayed on the gridiron on Sunday afternoons in the Mile High City.
During a recent interview with ESPN, an emotional Manning revealed all of that and much more as it pertains to Thomas, his late friend and teammate.
“I see him every day. I see him every Sunday … I think about him a lot,” Peyton Manning said.
“You know on your iPhone, the pictures pop up … five years ago today type deal, and it seems like every day different pictures of Demaryius with Marshall and Mosley, he and I out at practice, just pictures that pop up. We miss him, makes me sad at the same time, but I know that people are thinking about him.”
Marshall and Mosley are Manning’s children who also had a close relationship with Thomas.
Peyton Manning’s kids waited outside the Texans locker room to see Demaryius Thomas pic.twitter.com/3DRyJ9b2Gt
— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) November 5, 2018
Manning Opens Up Scholarship At Georgia Tech In Thomas’ Name
Following his good friend’s death last December, Manning and his wife opened up a scholarship in Thomas’ honor at his alma mater, Georgia Tech. The scholarship was set up through The Payback foundation and the sincere gesture left fans elated but also shocked.
Manning’s statement about the gesture was what you’d expect from one of the most respected players to ever don an NFL uniform.
“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.”
Who Was NFL Player Demaryius Thomas?
During his playing days Demaryius Thomas was known for his physical nature at the wide receiver position. Standing 6 feet 3 and 225 pounds, Thomas bullied NFL cornerbacks weekly. The former two-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowl pick was a devastating weapon in the Broncos’ Super Bowl attack, often having to be double-teamed.
The extra coverage didn’t slow him down much, as he still finished his career with 724 receptions for nearly 10,000 yards and 63 touchdowns.
During his time with Manning, he was a security blanket for the former Tennessee Volunteers star who was losing arm strength late in his career following neck fusion surgery. With a receiver like Thomas, Manning didn’t have to make the perfect throw because of Thomas’ ability to go up and get the football.
Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas pic.twitter.com/QmxkDws0Ez
— Darius Wilkins (@BestKidWilkins) December 9, 2022
The close friends were able to share winning a Super Bowl together in 2015, which happened to be the final season of Manning’s illustrious Hall of Fame career. Thomas’ impact on the NFL and his teammates lives on.