The Norman Transcript

Sports

January 28, 2014

Broncos’ tight end Julius Thomas honed skills on the hardwood as Portland State power forward

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Broncos third-year tight end Julius Thomas began the season with more NCAA tournament trips (two) on his resume than catches in the NFL (one).

Now, the former power forward at Portland State is the key to Denver’s record-shattering offense, freeing up Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker, especially in the red zone.

The 6-foot-5, 255-pound late-bloomer is also a bulls-eye for some of Manning’s biggest moments, like when he caught his 51st TD throw that broke Tom Brady’s single-season record, one of a dozen touchdown passes he caught this year, breaking Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe’s team record for tight ends.

He was Manning’s main target in the AFC Championship, too, with eight receptions for 85 yards a week after his two clutch third-down catches helped ice Denver’s win over San Diego.

“Sometimes I have to remind myself,” Manning said, “that he hasn’t played a ton of football.”

A giant banner of Thomas hangs outside the media hotel in Times Square, an indication of just how far this relative football toddler has come.

“Is my helmet on?” Thomas asked sheepishly Monday while aboard the Cornucopia Majesty ship, docked outside the team hotel across the Hudson River.

Yes.

“OK, that’s good. So, I won’t get recognized too much,” Thomas said. “That’s a lot of people walking by seeing that thing.”

He might want to get used to the spotlight.

With the wintry weather and Seattle’s stingy secondary sure to stifle some of Manning’s other options, Thomas could be Denver’s X-factor in the Super Bowl.

“No, this isn’t something that I imagined doing when I was 20 years old getting ready to play in the NCAA tournament,” Thomas said. “I wasn’t thinking, ‘Man, if you just fast-forward that clock a little bit, you’ll be competing in the biggest game in America.’ It’s just a blessing to be here. I’ve been very blessed in my athletic career, so I’m going to enjoy it.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • No new updates into police probe of Norman assault incident

    There were no updates in the Norman Police investigation into the incident that left a female University of Oklahoma student with multiple facial fractures on Saturday and Sooner freshman running back Joe Mixon as the focus of the probe....

    July 27, 2014

  • Furyk take three shot lead at the Canadian Open

    Associated Press MONTREAL — Jim Furyk moved into position for his third Canadian Open victory, shooting a 5-under 65 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead at Royal Montreal....

    July 27, 2014

  • Pair from U.S. will play for Junior title

    THE WOODLANDS, Texas — Davis Riley outlasted Sam Horsfield on the 21st hole Friday in the U.S. Junior Amateur to set up an all-American final against William Zalatoris....

    July 27, 2014

  • Gordon an Indy threat in 20 years at the Brickyard

    INDIANAPOLIS — The reminders that Jeff Gordon won here 20 years ago plaster Indianapolis Motor Speedway....

    July 27, 2014

  • Dillon races to first career Nationwide win

    INDIANAPOLIS — For a first time winner, Ty Dillon had the Brickyard’s winning tradition down as cold as the celebratory beer he chugged outside his car. “We get to kiss the bricks, baby!” he radioed as he crossed the finish line....

    July 27, 2014

  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to Tour victory

    PARIS — Vincenzo Nibali put his lungs and legs to work one last time, marching up to the winner’s podium of the Tour de France and sighing deeply before the Italian anthem echoed over the Champs-Elysees....

    July 28, 2014

  • Jeff Gordon wins at Indianapolis for record fifth time

    INDIANAPOLIS — With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again. Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight ...

    July 28, 2014

  • Scott says he will coach Lakers

    LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers have waited nearly three months to hire a new coach, and they’re apparently making Byron Scott wait a few more days....

    July 28, 2014

  • BoSox snap Rays’ streak

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Ortiz hit a three-run homer, and the Boston Red Sox beat Tampa Bay 3-2 Sunday to end a five-game losing streak and stop the Rays’ longest winning streak in 10 years at nine games....

    July 28, 2014

Facebook