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Jacob Tamme provided life-changing guidance to then Denver teammate Julius Thomas

Jacob Tamme (Keyli Chisesi/


Tight end Julius Thomas had 226 receptions for 2,406 yards and 36 touchdowns after being selected in the fourth round of the NFL draft by the Denver Broncos.

He played four seasons for Denver and then two years with Jacksonville. He signed a five-year deal with the Jaguars in 2015 but was traded to the Miami Dolphins after two seasons. Now he’s decided to retire

homas, selected in the fourth round of the 2011 draft by the Broncos, spent last season with the Dolphins after playing two years with the Jaguars and four seasons with Denver. He says he now plans to pursue a doctorate in psychology.

He announced his retirement in an emotional post on the Players Tribune. Included in the post was this story about former Denver teammate Jacob Tamme and what an impact Tamme had on his life: Enjoy this excerpt:

“My fourth year in the league, while I was with the Broncos, I was in the locker room talking with my teammate Jacob Tamme. He’s a guy that I have a ton of respect for as a teammate but even more so as a man. At some point he sat down next to me unprompted and told me, ‘Julius, I want you to know that you can have a great impact on the men in this locker room, that people listen to you, and you could do a lot for the guys in here by leading.’

“It caught me off guard because that was one of the last things I was thinking about at that time in my life — enough so that I still remember it vividly. Honestly I was a lot more focused on myself than on the people around me. I was trying to climb this ladder to success, that was all that really mattered. But it turned out, what he said planted a seed that began to grow.

“A few years later, in my second season with the Jags, we played a game against Atlanta, who Jacob played for at the time. In the time between what he told me in Denver and that moment, I’d grown a lot and thought a lot more about what he said to me that day. And I did what I should have done at the time but wasn’t ready to, I thanked him for providing that guidance. He ended up giving me the message that I needed to hear at that exact moment in my life I needed to hear it, even if I hadn’t known it at the time.

“When I started thinking about how I can best serve others, one thing that occurred to me was, Man, I didn’t really have anybody I could call and talk to about my life who I thought would really understand. Someone who could understand on an experiential level. That beyond the paycheck, the physical toll this game takes on your body and the mental toll of how uncertain your future is can cause a ton of anxiety.

“And then it became clearer to me that my purpose was to try to become that person for others. And that’s what inspired me to what I’m doing now.”

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Read the entire post by Thomas at

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