Thomas headed to NFL — updated

Georgia Tech wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is headed to the NFL.

Thomas, a redshirt junior from Montrose, announced his decision at a press conference on Friday.

“Something I’ve been wanting to do since I was a little boy before I came to Tech,” Thomas said.

He leaves as one of the top-10 leaders in several Tech categories: second in yards per reception (19.5), fourth in touchdown receptions (15), fourth on Tech’s career receiving yards list (2,339), and seventh in career receptions (120).

Thomas caught 46 passes for 1,154 yards and eight touchdowns this season. He led the ACC in receiving yards as well as yards per catch (25.1).

Tech coach Paul Johnson said that during his talks with Thomas as he was trying to make his decision, he told him that he had to do what was right for him. He joked he hoped he would wait one more year, but understood.

The two share a close relationship, so much so that Thomas asked his uncle, James Brown, to call Johnson and tell him the news on Wednesday because he was afraid of disappointing him. Thomas has talked about how he likes to hang out with Johnson in his office during the offseason.

It’s different than when Johnson was hired in December 2007 and people were telling Thomas that he needed to transfer.

“I think he showed a lot of courage when he came back and everybody told him you’re never going to catch a ball,” Johnson said. “He stayed. He showed a lot courage and made a lot of plays for us. He laid the foundation and proved the point. You can be an impressive wide receiver. He’s done a lot for Georgia Tech.”

Despite his tight-end size (6-3, 230 pounds), Thomas should play wide receiver in the NFL, according to NFL Network draft analyst Charles Davis. Thomas is projected to go as high as late in the second round, according to various mock drafts. His stock will be affected by how fast he runs the 40-yard dash for scouts, Davis said. They will also want to know if Thomas can beat coverage when teams are expecting pass. Davis said Tech’s run-focused offense made it easier for Thomas because every defense was so focused on stopping the run he often got man coverage and help from play-action calls.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper listed Thomas as the fourth-best junior wide receiver on Tuesday, but he was no longer among the top-five at the position on Wednesday.  Scouts,  Inc. lists Thomas as the No. 50 overall prospect and the fifth-best wide receiver.

Thomas’ decision would be the first to be publicly announced by the quartet of Tech juniors who are considering leaving early.

Defensive end Derrick Morgan, B-back Jonathan Dwyer and safety Morgan Burnett have said this season that they were also considering leaving for the NFL. Thomas said he didn’t know if they had made their decisions.

According to ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper, Morgan would be the No. 1 defensive end selected. He lists Dwyer as the No. 4 junior running back. Burnett was listed No. 2 among the junior safeties.

Scouts, Inc. lists Dwyer as No. 30 overall and the third-best running back. Burnett wasn’t listed among the safeties.

Thomas said he hopes to sign with an agent next week, and then will begin working out to prepare himself for the draft in April. He agrees with Davis’ assessment that he needs to work on his speed and route-running. He will also be taking classes the spring. He is two semesters away from graduating with a degree in management.

Johnson said that Thomas needs to work on the technical aspects of the positions, such as getting off the line in press coverage. He added that Thomas is such a hard worker that he may be able to improve his draft standing in the next three months.

Instead of being worried about potentially losing all four players, Johnson chose to focus on the positive.

“I’ve sat down with all those guys and they have to make the best decision for them,” Johnson said. “It’s a good problem to have. It means you’ve got good players. I would love to see them all come back if that’s what they chose to do. There’s a lot of money out there. Whatever they decide, I’m going to support 100 percent.”

Stephen Hill, Kevin Cone, Tyler Melton and Quentin Sims will now likely compete for the two starting wide receiver spots in the spread-option formation. Hill, a true freshman, was the second-most productive of the wide receivers with six catches for 137 yards and a touchdown. Melton caught five passes for 46 yards.

“Tech is in good hands,” Thomas said.

Thomas caught a pass in 29 consecutive games across the past three season until he was shut out in Iowa’s 24-14 win in the Orange Bowl. He was third-team All-American this season, first-team All-ACC, and a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s best wide receiver.

Thomas’ family was in attendance and shared one other piece of news: the origination of Thomas’ nickname, Bay-Bay. Thomas’ father, Bobby, is nicknamed Boo-Boo. His family tried to nickname Demaryius something similar, and it eventually turned into Bay-Bay, which is what most everyone calls Thomas now.

Thomas said the highlight of his career was winning the ACC championship. He said he would have returned had the NFL Draft Advisory Committee told him that he would be go in the third round or lower. He said he got the paperwork last week and it said he could be selected in the second round.

The Sam Bradford situation affected Thomas’ thinking some. The Oklahoma quarterback was pegged to go as high as No. 1 in this year’s draft, but he sustained a shoulder injury in the first game of the season and his draft status has dropped.

Despite his favorite team being the Dallas Cowboys, same as his dad’s, he said it doesn’t matter which team selects him. He just wants to play in the NFL.

“When I was a little boy I always told my mother I would go pro,” Thomas said.

161 comments Add your comment

GT2002

January 8th, 2010
1:23 pm

Good luck Demaryius. You have a great future ahead of you.

Chris

January 8th, 2010
1:24 pm

Cross your fingers he doesn’t go to the Lions.

Jeepers

January 8th, 2010
1:24 pm

Best of luck Demaryius! You will be missed.

GT08

January 8th, 2010
1:26 pm

I wish you all the best Bay-Bay. Ramblin’ Wreck!

GT Dad

January 8th, 2010
1:27 pm

Be Be good luck in the NFL but I will always blame you for your dropped pass in 30-24 loss to UGaG! You cost us that game!

larry

January 8th, 2010
1:27 pm

Please come to the lions, we need another receiver to help calvin. And being a huge Georgia Tech fan, I am disappointed he didnt stay, and now we will see what dwyer, morgan, and burnett do. Dwyer please STAY your senior season.

Bey Bey's an idiot

January 8th, 2010
1:28 pm

The man’s crazy — late second round, AT BEST?!?!?! Why wouldn’t you stay another year! He wouldn’t fall past that with another year like the one he just put up — and he could only improve his draft stock (barring injury, of course). Why, Bey Bey, why!

ZamBonE

January 8th, 2010
1:28 pm

Best of Luck Bay Bay. Thanks for the Great Memories.

Go Jackets

Tech75

January 8th, 2010
1:29 pm

Dwyer and D. Morgan are gone. Count on it. Too much chance of injury.

NATS

January 8th, 2010
1:29 pm

You will always be remembered for one play…I think you know which one it is.

Terry

January 8th, 2010
1:30 pm

Good luck, but it seems like a bad move to come early just to be a third rounder. Come back for another year and improve your draft position.

Coach Paul Johnson

January 8th, 2010
1:30 pm

Bay-Bay I told you not to take it personal that you didn’t have any catches in our Orange Bowl loss (or that had 12 yards of passing in the game).

I promised you next year we will unleash a passing offense to compliment the Perfect Option the likes of which the ACC has never seen!

If you think we were the cream of the nation’s best conference this year, just you wait!

Oh, and even though I cussed you out after you dropped that 4th down pass in our 30-24 loss to the mutts and they went into the Victory Formation, know that I will forgive you – in about 8 years.

Don't let the door hit ya

January 8th, 2010
1:30 pm

Color me as a Tech fan who doesn’t too much care for the early jumpers. Pro football sucks a steaming pile of man meat. I couldn’t care any less about watching former Tech athletes in the pros, and certainly those who forgo their senior year.

Thanks for your time, bey bey. But you get no love from me for walking out. You’re not one of the class act college stars who stick around for their senior year and make for a special season. Maybe you’ll pick up some character in the NFL.

Mableton

January 8th, 2010
1:30 pm

Who does everyone expect to step up now that we have such a big hole to fill?

Eastside Jacket

January 8th, 2010
1:32 pm

Best of luck Thomas. Thanks for your four years on The Flats.

Tim

January 8th, 2010
1:32 pm

Best of luck! Can’t blame these young guys.

GT Dad – Your defense cost GT the game, not the receiver. Besides, if memory serves correctly, he was not in the endzone when he dropped the pass, so you would have still needed 20-30 more yards to score, with not much time left. And with how Nesbitt is with his passing, that’s a tall order to overcome, even with our swiss cheese pass defense.

Tech75

January 8th, 2010
1:34 pm

“You will always be remembered for one play…I think you know which one it is.” – why do we have to focus on the negative? Listen, this guy was our only real deap threat and now he’s gone? Why can’t you just recognize him as the premier receiver in the premier conference in the country?

Nesbitt’s gonna have to throw it up to Hill a lot next year, I never want to see another 12-ypg passing effort by us as long as I live!

Ozzy

January 8th, 2010
1:34 pm

Good luck, I think you’re going to need it.

FIRE PAUL HEWITT!!!!!

Ernest

January 8th, 2010
1:35 pm

Best wishes to Thomas. With the possibility that the upcoming NFL season will be uncapped and the following season may have a rookie pay scale, we will see this from many quality juniors this year. At the end of the day, it is about the Benjamins and you can’t blame a young man for attempting to get paid when they can. Let’s hope he does come back and get his degree as that lasts a lifetime….

how do you spell BAY BAY

January 8th, 2010
1:35 pm

good luck in the NFL and thanks for all the TD’s, it was great watching you play. Please be careful, these so-called NFL analyst experts and agents are not always right or telling the truth..do not believe everything you hear just because they work for ESPN for some other outlet. Juat for the record, the GT media guide says it is BAY BAY, but was it?

Ramblor

January 8th, 2010
1:35 pm

Yep, the one play where he stiff-armed the UGAg corner into the turf like a piss ant and then out ran all those 5 star players for a touchdown. Yeah, that was a great play. Thanks for the reminder, NATS.

Congrats and good luck, Bay Bay!

a

January 8th, 2010
1:36 pm

someone’s gonna waste a pick on this kid….

Greg

January 8th, 2010
1:37 pm

Just another in an endless line of fine “student-athletes” playing in a completely false and corrupt collegiate sports system.

ZamBonE

January 8th, 2010
1:37 pm

Thomas, Dwyer, Morgan, & Burnett all heading out to play on Sundays…

What are we going to do next year? Coach Johnson has promised improvement and maybe even a bowl win.

Opinion

January 8th, 2010
1:37 pm

Nice career at Tech wish you would stay one more year but…..can’t argue with the Money

H15

January 8th, 2010
1:38 pm

I thought this guy was talking about how he was coming back? I could have sworn I read that a month ago?????

AdMan

January 8th, 2010
1:38 pm

Tech just lost thier chance at winning at least four games next year.It will be a major slide downward. I see Tech winning maybe 3-4 games next season. ….Bay Bay needs to change his name before he thinks about playing in the NFL. With a name like he has he won’t gain any respect in any NFL locker room or on the field.

Wommack Can't Coach

January 8th, 2010
1:39 pm

Probably 3rd round…Next yr would’ve easily been 1st round…Go figure???

Just my opinion, but I think something very wrong happened in that locker room sometime before the O Bowl. From the outside, it looks like some players got offended by something and phoned in their performances. No need to name any names…Just watch the game again and post-game interviews as they were walking off the field..

The fact that he had no catch in the Bowl could’ve been fallout. I know he WANTED the ball every play. Not trying to start any rumors…Just an observation.

Opinion

January 8th, 2010
1:39 pm

How would a playoff diminish the regular season….isn’t that what the bowl games are doing

DTECH

January 8th, 2010
1:39 pm

Good Luck, hope you run a 4.5 or better or it could be a long draft… Thanks for the ACC Championship

Why should he stay?

January 8th, 2010
1:40 pm

He made the right choice, why should have stayed? He was not going to top this season. He knows, just like all the rest of us that Tech’s offense is a joke. I imagine Stephen Hill regrets his decision to go to the Flaps, I mean Flats.

Ramblor

January 8th, 2010
1:40 pm

Bay-Bay was our best receiver since Calvin Johnson was on the Flats. It’s just to bad he is getting as greedy as many of the other folks of his heritage and turning his back on his beloved school for a CHANCE to play in the NFL. At least Tim Tebow LOVED his school, it’s obvious Bay-Bay doesn’t.

Hey

January 8th, 2010
1:40 pm

When will we hear about the rest.. Dwyer would be a fool not to switch to A-Back and come back. Increase his draft stock to a top five pick and get the garranteed (spelled wrong). Brunett and Morgan can leave, Womack is a joke.

Opinion

January 8th, 2010
1:40 pm

Tech needs to get rid of Wommach ……….now !!!!!!!!!

Paul Johnson

January 8th, 2010
1:41 pm

Bowl win ZamBonE? Only if I get to play another ACC team.

Why should he stay?

January 8th, 2010
1:42 pm

He made the right choice. He knows that the Tech Offense is a joke, just like the rest of us non-tech fans.

GT Dad

January 8th, 2010
1:43 pm

I’m sorry about the earlier comment. My boyfriend broke up with me last night and he is a big Dawg fan. You will do great in the NFL!

JLC

January 8th, 2010
1:43 pm

Good luck D. Thomas. I would love to see the Falcons pick you up, as they are need of another quality WR. Even without Thomas and Dwyer, the offense will be fine. CPJ’s system is interchangeable. A. Allen steps in for Dwyer, and Stephen Hill steps in for Thomas. It’s losing Morgan and potentially Burnett that will hurt the most. Probably looking at 8 wins next year.

DTECH

January 8th, 2010
1:43 pm

These guys brought a championship back to Atlanta in the greatest football conference in America, the ACC. Paul Johnson has put this place back on the map, we are now the 13th best team in the county and could have easily beaten Florida, Boise State or many of the other teams ahead of us.

Next year look for a National Championship brought home to the Flats and a Hesiman Trophy in Nesbitt’s trophy case!

THWG!

Fantastech

January 8th, 2010
1:43 pm

Good Luck in the NFL Young man. We have thoroughly enjoyed having you at Georgia Tech. Thanks for all the hard work you have put in. You will always be a part of the Georgia Tech family. Hope to hear of great things from you in the future!

Go Jackets!

SWAtl Jacket

January 8th, 2010
1:44 pm

Good Luck BeBe! I expected he would go. Not much for him to gain football-wise by staying.

@GT Dad….BeBe was the reason we were even in the game versus UGA. Remember that 80-yard TD catch run. The defense and maybe even the coaching were bigger reasons why we lost the UGA game.

PJ

January 8th, 2010
1:44 pm

Bay Bay you are the best WR in the country. You showed up at every game and gave it your all. I look forward to see you have a great career. You are the man, and i appreciate all that you have done for Tech football. You owned Prince Miller in the UGA game and you were the only reason we were in that game. Good luck in the NFL

dawgonit

January 8th, 2010
1:45 pm

Techs 2nd leading receiver had 6 catches last season? Yeah, Thomas made the right decision.

Mr. Holmes

January 8th, 2010
1:46 pm

“Be Be good luck in the NFL but I will always blame you for your dropped pass in 30-24 loss to UGaG! You cost us that game!”

Classy. Don’t blame the defense that played torreador to the bulls Washaun & Caleb all night, blame the receiver who dropped one (albeit important) pass. Well, I hope you enjoyed Bebe while you had him; he’s the last NFL-caliber receiver GT’s going to see for a while…

GT08

January 8th, 2010
1:46 pm

I am appalled at the personal insults being hurled at Thomas.

Lack of character? Which would you choose: a fat paycheck from the NFL, or playing another year of college ball sans paycheck with the risk of a career-ending injury. He should take the opportunity while he has it.

Blaming him for loss to UGA? That’s on our defense, not him.

And calling him stupid in the classroom? That’s the lowest of all.

Grow up, kids.

GoJackets

January 8th, 2010
1:46 pm

Good luck Bay Bay! Thanks for helping lead us to an ACC championship. You were a great Yellow Jacket and I wish you all the best. I hope you gave Hill some tips before you left.

cattle dawg

January 8th, 2010
1:47 pm

Its bay bay. Hes been called that since he was a kid. And thats how hes always spelled it. He is from my old high school. Great kid.

[...] BeBe’s decided to try his luck at dropping NFL [...]

GTalways

January 8th, 2010
1:47 pm

Is there anything to the rumor that Steven Hill is transferring to Louisville?