ATLANTA — A former teammate will help honor Laurens County legend Demaryius ‘BayBay’ Thomas while also giving a boost to some Central Georgia kids.
Georgia Tech announced the ‘Demaryius A. Thomas Scholarship Endowment’ Wednesday, funded by the PeyBack Foundation -- the charitable foundation of NFL great Peyton Manning.
Each year, it will provide full or partial scholarships to send Laurens County students to Georgia Tech. They’ll need a 3.2 GPA and be involved in community service to qualify.
Thomas starred at Tech, at West Laurens High School, and for the Denver Broncos. He died in Dec. 2021.
In his announcement, Manning called him not just a talented and unselfish teammate, but also a special person and friend.
“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,” wrote Manning.
Additionally, Georgia Tech announced Aug. 8 will now be known as Demaryius Thomas Day starting this year. That date was chosen because Thomas wore #8 at Tech and #88 in Denver.
The school will also honor his memory throughout the fall season with helmet decals and through field paint at home games.