Who was Demaryius Thomas? Everything to know about late wide receiver

December 10, 2021
Denver Broncos Demaryius Thomas following mini camp drills at the UCHealth Training Center on June 7, 2016 in Englewood, Colo.
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Demaryius Thomas, a Pro Bowl and Super Bowl-winning wide receiver with the Denver Broncos, has died, authorities confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. He was 33.

The former NFL wide receiver was found dead in his Roswell, Georgia home on Thursday evening, less than six months after he officially retired from the NFL. 

Thomas appears to have died from a “medical issue,” the city’s police department told USA TODAY Sports. Thomas’ cousin, LaTonya Bonseigneur, told The Associated Press that the family believes Thomas died from a seizure.

The football world collectively mourned the athlete that overcame a troubled childhood, earned a Super Bowl ring among countess accolades and gave back to his community. 

“(Football) has done wonderful things for me and my family,” he said in June after he retired from the sport. “I’ve just been working on myself and trying to find myself… trying to find what I’m going to do next.” 

OBIT:Demaryius Thomas, a Pro Bowl and Super Bowl-winning wide receiver with the Denver Broncos, dies at 33

Where is Demaryius Thomas from?

Thomas was born to Bobby Thomas and Katina Smith on Christmas Day in 1987 in Montrose, Georgia. He was nicknamed “Bay Bay” after the 1992 film “Bébé’s Kids.”

Smith and Thomas’ grandmother, Minnie Thomas, were arrested in 1999 and imprisoned on drug trafficking charges when Thomas was 11. After his mother and grandmother were jailed, Thomas went to live with an uncle and aunt.

Smith was sentenced to 20-years in prison, but she was released early in 2015 after former President Barack Obama commuted her sentence, along with 45 other non-violent drug offenders.

“God is good.. Great news today,” Thomas wrote on Facebook on July 13, 2015. “My Best lady come home November 10.. Godbless.”

MORE:Demaryius Thomas gets good news about his family

Smith saw her son play for the first time in person in January 2016. At the time, Thomas told the DenverBroncos.com, “I was just excited she was here for her first game…We came out with a win to make it even better.”

Minnie Thomas, who received a life sentence, was commuted by Obama in 2016.

What college did Demaryius Thomas attend?

Thomas attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, known as Georgia Tech, where he majored in management from 2007-2009. During his collegiate career with the Yellow Jackets, the wide receiver recorded 120 receptions for 2,339 total yards and 14 touchdowns in three season. 

What teams did Demaryius Thomas play for?

Thomas was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round with the 22nd overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. He was the first wide receiver taken in the draft. 

A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Thomas spent the bulk of his career with the Denver Broncos and quickly became both the team’s No. 1 receiver and one of the best in the league. Known for both his physicality and athleticism, he amassed at least 80 catches and 900 receiving yards in six consecutive seasons, while also playing through a number of injuries.

He went on to have brief stints with the Houston Texans, New England Patriots and New York Jets before announcing his retirement earlier this year.

Did Demaryius Thomas win a Super Bowl?

Thomas and Peyton Manning were part of the Bronco team that Super Bowl 50.

“It was a special time for all of us,” Thomas recalled in June, pointing to a  commemorative Super Bowl 50 tattoo he got. “It’s on me. I’m never going to forget it.”

In June, Thomas retired as a Denver Bronco.

“I’ve finally come to a decision to hang it up. I’m going to retire, and I’m going to retire a Denver Bronco,” he said in a Twitter video in June. “I’m just happy to say I’m done and it did me well.”

The Broncos said in a statement early Friday morning that they were devastated by Thomas’ death, describing him as “an incredible player and a special person.”

“His legacy as a Bronco extended far beyond the playing field as a caring, generous member of our community,” the team said. “D.T. loved giving back – especially spending time with children – and impacted countless lives through the Broncos Boys and Girls Club, hospital visits, his annual football camp and many other genuine interactions.”

The Broncos statement continued: “Demaryius’ humility, warmth, kindness and infectious smile will always be remembered by those who knew him and loved him.”

Contributing: Tom Schad, Associated Press



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