Demaryius the Great

Georgia Tech WR Demaryius Thomas is running away from the rest of the ACC. (Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images North America)

Writing about Demaryius Thomas is almost tedious.

The Georgia Tech junior is so clearly the Atlantic Coast Conference’s best receiver that pondering his greatness can get a little boring. Consider: Thomas’ 823 receiving yards place him 163 ahead of his nearest competitor, Duke wideout Donovan Varner. Varner gains about 82 yards per game; Thomas could take Georgia Tech’s next two games off and Varner would possibly catch him.

Thomas is first in the ACC in receiving yards, second in receiving touchdowns, second in yards per reception. He has 12 catches of 25 or more yards, four more than North Carolina and just as many as Maryland. Look out, Virginia and Virginia Tech (13 apiece).

If there’s a definitive Demaryius stat, it’s this one: Thomas has accounted for two-thirds of Georgia Tech’s total passing yards this season. No one in the country bears as great a share of his team’s passing burden as Thomas. Only 11 receivers are responsible for as much as 40 percent of their team’s passing this year:

Player Team Player yds. Team yds. Player %
Demaryius Thomas Georgia Tech 823 1227 67%
Alejandro Villanueva Army 253 479 53%
Tim Brown Rutgers 811 1587 51%
Mike Williams Syracuse 746 1624 46%
Jeremy Williams Tulane 740 1651 45%
David Reed Utah 754 1719 44%
A.J. Green Georgia 732 1752 42%
Kevin Fogler Air Force 268 643 42%
David Calhoun Memphis 757 1850 41%
Danario Alexander Missouri 824 2014 41%
Eric Decker Minnesota 758 1911 40%

Thomas’ achievement is all the more impressive when you consider how little he’s used. Among the ACC’s top 19 receivers, Thomas is 12th in targets per game (5.78). He trails Duke’s top three receivers, Florida State’s top two and Clemson’s Jacoby Ford among others. Thomas has five touchdowns, despite being the target of only two red-zone passes this year.

It’s tempting to fault Georgia Tech for showcasing Thomas so infrequently. But it’s hard to argue with the success of Tech’s multifaceted rushing attack, which generates more than 300 yards per game. Occasional passes to Thomas are the spoonful of sugar that eases the esophagus for Josh Nesbitt, Jonathan Dwyer and Anthony Allen’s rough medicine.

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