Watch CBS News

'He Just Loved Football, Being Around People': Fans, Friends React To Sudden Death Of Demaryius Thomas

DENVER (CBS4)- On a day when temperatures in Denver were at times below freezing, Ian Cerveny chose to showcase his Demaryius Thomas Broncos Jersey.

DEMARYIUS THOMAS 10 PKG.transfer_frame_915
(credit: CBS)

"It felt right just to come down and pay respects to DT and kind of remember all the joy he brought us here at mile high," Cerveny said.

For Cerveny and friend Preston Underwood, both lifelong Denver Broncos fans the late number 88 was a standout player.

"He was a magnificent player a team player. He didn't just make the fancy plays he did the dirty work," Underwood said.

More importantly, they say he was a stand-out member of the community.

"Everyday greatness, that's what I remember DT talking about and how that was his life mantra, it felt like he lived up to it," Cerveny said.

Courtney Wickberg with the nonprofit "A Precious Child" saw that firsthand. As one of their first celebrity ambassadors, Thomas ran a football camp for kids.

DEMARYIUS THOMAS 10 PKG.transfer_frame_1492
(credit: A Precious Child)

"He took time out of his insanely busy schedule to make the world for these kids and I think it's something we won't ever forget, that he believed in us when were such a young organization," Wickberg said.

For Mario Vetanze, whose father worked as a chiropractor for the team, the Broncos great was family. As a rookie on hold for a contract, Vetanze says Thomas lived with them for a short time.

"It really started this incredible friendship and obviously his popularity skyrocketed but you would never be able to tell because to us, he was always just Demaryius."

DEMARYIUS THOMAS 10 PKG.transfer_frame_1830
(credit: Mario Vetanze)

Whether you admired him from afar or knew him personally, Vetanze says Thomas's kindness never altered.

"The fame the fortune all of that it never went to his head. he just loved playing football and he loved being around people," Vetanze said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.