Saturday, April 24, 2010


Broncos' top pick Thomas credits sports for keeping him out of trouble

By Lindsay H. Jones

@The Denver Post

Broncos first-round pick wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, from Georgia Tech, is all smiles after being introduced to the media Friday at Dove Valley. (Joe Amon, The Denver Post )
About twice a week, for the past decade or so, Demaryius Thomas has spoken to his mother on the phone. She is in prison, midway through a 20-year sentence for selling drugs.

Now Thomas is in the NFL, a first-round draft pick by the Broncos. The pair spoke again Friday while Thomas was en route to Denver.

"They watched last night," Thomas said. "She just said she was proud of me, just do the right thing, stay with the right crowd, what I've been doing the whole time."

Thomas said he always told his mother that someday he would be a professional athlete, and he credits becoming active in sports for keeping him out of trouble after she went to prison when he was about 12 years old. Thomas' grandmother also is in prison for selling drugs.

"I knew they were going to be in prison for a while, and I didn't want to be like them and put myself in the position they got in," Thomas said.

On Friday, Thomas said he believed the Broncos chose to make him the first wide receiver drafted at No. 22 in 2010 in part because "I'm a good guy."

The Dallas Cowboys drafted Dez Bryant — the talented but somewhat troubled receiver — two picks later at No. 24. Thomas was asked Friday how he is a better receiver than Bryant. Thomas hesitated at first, then gave an honest answer.

"I know I'm a better person than Dez, that's how I feel," Thomas said. "I feel like I'm a better receiver, too, bigger, faster. I don't know."

Thomas said he expects to spend two or three more weeks on the final stages of rehab for the broken bone in his foot, an injury he suffered Feb. 15 while he prepared for the NFL combine. That means Thomas will be held out of the Broncos' rookie minicamp scheduled for next weekend but that he should be ready for the first full-squad camp later in May. Thomas will be back in Denver on Thursday to finish his rehab with Broncos trainers.

"I'll be at 100 percent in two to three weeks," he said.

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