At a game in Denver in September 2010.
No. 88 Denver Broncos
|Date of birth:December 25, 1987|
|Place of birth: Montrose, Georgia|
|High school: Dublin (GA) West Laurens|
|College: Georgia Tech|
|NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 1 / Pick: 22|
|Debuted in 2010 for the Denver Broncos|
|Roster status: Active|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 15, 2013
Demaryius Antwon Thomas (born December 25, 1987) is an American football wide receiver for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Thomas led the team in receiving in all three of his seasons at Tech. He was selected by the Denver Broncos with the 22nd overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft. Thomas is known for his physical style of play and run after catch ability. He was 2nd in the NFL for catches over 20+ yards and 5th in yards after catch in 2012.
Thomas was born on December 25, 1987 to parents Bobby and Katina Thomas in Montrose, Georgia. By all accounts a shy and introverted child, Thomas grew up with his aunt and uncle after his mother was sent to prison. He was nicknamed "Bay-Bay" in reference to his father's nickname, "Boo-Boo."
Thomas attended West Laurens High School where he played basketball and football as a wide receiver. As a junior in 2004, he recorded 32 receptions for 330 yards and three touchdowns. Thomas was named an all-region and all-Heart of Georgia player. The following season, he recorded 82 receptions for 1,234 yards and ten touchdowns. After the season, he participated in the North-South All-Star game. Thomas was again selected as an all-region and all-Heart of Georgia, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution named him to its Class AA all-state first team and PrepStar to its All-Region team. Scout.com assessed him as the 22nd-ranked college prospect in the state of Georgia, and Rivals.com rated him the 34th-ranked such prospect. He received scholarship offers from Duke, Georgia, and Georgia Tech.
He chose to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology where he majored in management. Thomas sat out the 2006 season as a redshirt. In 2007, he saw action in all 13 games including 10 starts, and recorded 35 receptions for 558 yards, which ranked second on the team. In the 2007 Humanitarian Bowl, he made four receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown. The Sporting News named Thomas to its freshman All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) first team and a freshman All-America honorable mention.
In 2008, Paul Johnson was hired as the head coach and implemented the run-heavy triple option offense. Thomas considered transferring but decided against it. During the season, he recorded 39 receptions for 627 yards and three touchdowns as the leading receiver. Despite playing in a heavily run-oriented system, as one of the team's few experienced players, Thomas recorded relatively high numbers. Still, compared with other receivers in the Atlantic Coast Conference, such as leader D. J. Boldin of Wake Forest, Thomas' statistics were much smaller. He said, "Sometimes I think about [not getting many passes], but most of the time I just want to win." Thomas' mark was the best of any wide receiver from the school since Calvin Johnson in 2006. Against Duke, he caught nine receptions for 230 yards, the second-most in a single game in school history.
In 2009, during his Junior (redshirt) year at GT, Thomas had a breakout season with 46 receptions for 1,154 yards and 8 touchdowns. This earned him 1st team All-ACC honors. He finished his career at Georgia Tech with 120 catches for 2,339 and 14 TDs.
Many draft experts had him gaining momentum with NFL scouts going into the last couple weeks leading up to the draft and most had him as the number one or two-rated wide receiver along with Dez Bryant in the 2010 NFL Draft, including Sporting News. On January 8, 2010, he declared his entrance to the 2010 NFL Draft.
Denver Broncos (2010-present)
Thomas was drafted by the Denver Broncos 22nd overall in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Thomas had 8 receptions for 97 yards and scored one touchdown in his NFL debut against the Seattle Seahawks. He was just the 9th player in the NFL (since 1970) to record at least 8 catches in his first game. This was also the 2nd most catches by a rookie in franchise history. The highlight of Thomas' season came when he beat all-pro cornerback Darrelle Revis for a touchdown when the Broncos hosted the New York Jets on 17 October 2010.
Unfortunately, Thomas was plagued by injuries during his rookie season. He first missed playing time due to a forearm injury and a concussion; an ankle injury also rendered him inactive for five more games late in the season.
Thomas ended his first season having played in 10 games, with 22 receptions for 283 yards and 2 touchdowns.
On February 10, 2011 it was announced that Thomas had torn his achilles tendon while working out and was expected to miss a majority, if not the entirety, of the 2011 season. However, he was surprisingly activated from the Physically Unable to Perform List prior to the start of the season - Broncos GM Brian Xanders said that Demaryius had responded to rehab well and was "ready to go." During his very first practice back, Thomas broke his left pinkie finger and missed the first 5 games of the season.
Thomas made his season debut on October 23 2011 against the Miami Dolphins. He linked up with quarterback Tim Tebow for the Broncos' first score of the game, which Denver would go on to win in overtime. Despite this early promise, he only had 4 receptions in the next 5 games as the Broncos moved towards a run-heavy option offense.
Demaryius broke out in a match against the Minnesota Vikings on December 4 2011, recording 144 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 4 receptions. He would end the season strongly, emerging as Tebow's favorite receiver and setting a franchise record by leading the Broncos in both receiving and targets over the final 7 games.
But it was during the first round of the playoffs that Thomas truly made his presence felt. On January 8, 2012 Thomas caught the game-winning, 80-yard touchdown pass from Tebow on the opening play of overtime to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Wild Card game, 29-23. This was the first non-sudden death playoff game in NFL history  but Denver's score ended the game.
Thomas ended with a stat-line of 4 receptions, 204 yards and 1 touchdown in his playoff debut. It marked the most receiving yards by a Bronco in playoff history and the 2nd-highest receiving average (51.0) in a single game in NFL annals.
Thomas caught 6 balls for 93 yards the following week against the New England Patriots. He ended the 2011 season with 32 receptions, 551 yards and 4 touchdowns (excluding playoffs).
Thomas was coming off surgery to remove pins in his left pinkie when quarterback Peyton Manning signed with the Broncos during the 2012 off season. This meant that, unlike fellow receiver Eric Decker, he was unable to participate in workouts with Manning. Thomas, however, made an effort to improve his route-running and quickly caught up. Manning noted during training camp that Thomas' "size, strength and speed just allow you to do certain things with him that other players just can't do."
Despite reports describing the connection between Thomas and Manning as "balky",  Thomas found success again in the Broncos' very first game of the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Down 13 to 7, Thomas, in a move reminiscent of his game-winning touchdown in the playoffs, burned the Steelers with a 71-yard catch-and-run. The touchdown was notable because it was the first touchdown Manning had thrown in the NFL for a team other than the Indianapolis Colts, and it was also the 400th of Manning's career, making Peyton just the 3rd player in NFL history to reach that milestone.
Thomas set regular-season career highs in both catches (9) and yards (180) at New England on October 7, 2012. He tied his career high in catches in games against the Carolina Panthers and the Cleveland Browns.
Thomas would go on to have an absolute breakout year in 2012, recording 94 receptions for 1,434 yards and 10 touchdowns. He led the team in targets, receptions and yards, and ranked 8th in the league in receptions, 4th in yards and 7th in touchdowns.
In 2010, a woman contacted Denver police suspecting she was drugged and raped after being a party that Thomas attended, in the company of his Bronco's teammate Perrish Cox. A DNA test later proved she was pregnant with Cox's child. Thomas was a prosecution witness and testified that Cox spoke to him before the act, saying that he was going to sleep with the girl and that she had consented before hand and even offered for Thomas to sleep with her instead. However, Thomas said no, that he would have no part of it, that Cox was drunk and that he was messed up; Thomas left the party immediately after the conversation. Later when asked about the conversation, Thomas said that based on Cox's erratic behavior and speech he didn't fully believe Cox was serious, thinking that Cox was having some kind of drunken delusion.
Although Cox was eventually acquitted, the woman filed a civil suit against both Thomas and Cox, suing them, inter alia, for battery, conspiracy and negligence. The claims against Thomas have since been dismissed, Thomas having being proven innocent in the matter.
- "Broncos rookie receiver Demaryius Thomas has run a tough route to success". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2013-02-22.
- "Somehow Bay-Bay found his Way". Georgia Tech Sports. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- Player Bio: Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech, retrieved August 12, 2009.
- Demaryius Thomas, Scout.com, retrieved August 12, 2009.
- LOVE THE ASSIST; Receivers embrace downfield blocking in Tech’s run offense, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 30, 2008.
- Tedd Bauer and William Hupp, COLLEGE FOOTBALL DEPARTMENT: GENERATION GAP AND DEMARYIUS THOMAS; What of age gaps in college football? And how good can Georgia Tech's WR be?, ESPN The Magazine, October 28, 2008.
- "Broncos rookies making their mark". AP. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- "Broncos hurry up Demaryius Thomas' development". The Denver Post. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- "Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas out to prove he can be a No. 1 guy". The Denver Post. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- "Demaryius Thomas tears Achilles". ESPN. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- "Demaryius Thomas returns to practice". ESPN. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
- "Thomas Faces Another ‘Two to Three Weeks’ of Recovery from Finger Injury". MaxDenver.com. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
- "Post Season Overtime Rules". NFL. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
- "Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos - Recap". ESPN. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
- "Super Bowl 45 at NFL.com". NFL. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
- "Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas on the same page'". Associated Press. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- "For Thomas, 'The Sky's the Limit'". Denverbroncos.com. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- "Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning finds target in Demaryius Thomas". The Denver Post. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- "Broncos report: Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas connection a work in progress". Sporting News. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- "Broncos' Demaryius Thomas, Zane Beadles added to AFC's Pro Bowl roster". The Denver Post. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- "Lawsuit filed as 'Jane Doe'". Associated Press. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- "Civil suit against Demaryius Thomas dismissed". First-And-Orange. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- Jonathan Heeter, Former rivals enjoying their time as teammates, The Macon Telegraph, November 18, 2007.
- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets bio
- Denver Broncos bio