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Thomas’ Mom And Grandmoter To Watch Super Bowl XLVIII From Prison

Denver Broncos Super Bowl Media Day

Demaryius Thomas‘ most devoted fan base might be inside the Federal Correctional Institution in Tallahassee, a minimum-security women’s facility where his mother and grandmother, Minnie Pearl Thomas, have been incarcerated since 2000, Lindsay Jones of USA Today reports.

Both were convicted of charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

Smith, 41, is scheduled to be released in June 2017. Minnie Thomas, who had two prior convictions for selling drugs, received a life sentence. Neither has ever seen Demaryius play a football game in person — not in Pop Warner, not in high school and not with the Denver Broncos, for whom he has become a star receiver and two-time Pro Bowler.

“That drives me more, to know that they’re in there and they’re watching me,” Thomas said Monday. “I try to go out and play my best, because I know they’re going to talk about it to all the people in the jailhouse.”

Thomas was 11 when his mother and grandmother were arrested and 12 when they were convicted. With his father serving in the Army, including time stationed in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Thomas went to live with his Aunt Shirley and her husband, James Brown, a preacher in tiny Montrose, Ga.

The Browns raised him, sent him to church, enrolled him in sports, cheered for him as he starred at Georgia Tech and have supported him through his career in Denver.

Thomas will visit his mother and grandmother after the season.

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