DENVER – Hundreds of friends, family and mourners filled a high school gymnasium in Georgia on Saturday to remember and pay tribute to former Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.
The 33-year-old was buried in his hometown following the public screening and memorial service at West Laurens High School in Dexter, Georgia, where Thomas played high school football.
Thomas was found dead in his Atlanta-area home on December 9. His family believe he died of a seizure and no foul play is suspected.
Several people spoke during the service, including his former trainer, Dwayne Gibson.
“Let me tell you something about love. Love never goes away. It never decreases. Love is as strong today as it was yesterday. A man’s love goes on and on. I promise you, ”Gibson said during the service.
His former Broncos teammate Ryan Harris called Thomas an elite player and said he was lucky to have played with him during his time with the Broncos. He spoke of the last time he saw Thomas.
“But I have great peace today knowing that the last time I saw DT was at the Peyton Manning Hall of Fame celebration. As I walked out I said, ‘Hey, man , I like you. “” said Harris.
Thomas retired as a Bronco last summer, paving the way for his eventual induction into the team’s Ring of Fame. Thomas arrived in Denver in 2010 as a first-round pick, known for his blocking and athleticism at Georgia Tech.
He became the franchise’s second-most accomplished wide receiver, behind Rod Smith. Thomas, who would have turned 34 on Christmas Day, won five Pro Bowl spots and two All-Pro caps.
He caught 724 passes for 9,763 passes for 63 touchdowns. He will forever be known for his starting scoreline against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs, catching a slant pass from Tim Tebow.
From 2012 to 2017, Thomas became one of the top spreaders in the league. He’s averaged 96 catches and nine touchdowns per season, his rise coinciding with his connection to Hall of Fame Peyton Manning, who maintained a friendship with Thomas.