NFL prospect AJ Simon tragically dies aged just 25… former Albany DL passes away just days before he hoped to realize his dream at 2024 draft

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Written By Maya Cantina

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  • AJ Simon announced back in December that he was entering the 2024 NFL draft
  • Albany confirmed on Wednesday that Simon had tragically passed away
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news

Former Albany star Amitral ‘AJ’ Simon has tragically died at the age of just 25 – only days before the 2024 NFL draft.

The defensive lineman had hoped to be selected at the upcoming draft, which takes place next week in Detroit. No cause of death has been confirmed.

‘The UAlbany football program was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former student-athlete Amitral ‘AJ’ Simon this morning,’ Albany said in a statement.

‘AJ was a tremendous young man and even better teammate throughout his time at UAlbany. He was a role model both on and off the field, serving as a pillar to this program over the last two years.’ 

Simon, who was born in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania, played five games for the Great Danes during the 2023 regular season. He began his college career at Bloomsburg University before playing the past two seasons for Albany.

Former Albany star Amitral ‘AJ’ Simon has tragically died at the age of just 25

'AJ was a tremendous young man and even better teammate,' Albany said following his death

 ‘AJ was a tremendous young man and even better teammate,’ Albany said following his death

Late last month, Simon shared a video online which revealed that seven NFL scouts had shown up to Albany’s Pro Day to check out the ‘pass rush stud’. 

On Wednesday, Albany coach Greg Gattuso wrote on on social media: ‘Two joyous year(s) coaching and becoming friends with AJ Simon. 

‘My prayers are dedicated to the Simon family. I love you AJ and will always have a special place in my heart for #8.’

In a poignant post back in December, meanwhile, Simon announced he would be entering the draft.

‘It has been an incredible journey here at UAlbany, and I am immensely grateful for the support, guidance and mentorship provided by the UA staff,’ he wrote in a statement.

The lineman had hoped to be selected at the 2024 draft, which takes place next week

The lineman had hoped to be selected at the 2024 draft, which takes place next week

‘My time at UAlbany has not only honed my athletic skills but has also shaped me into a better individual both on and off the field.’

He added: ‘Their guidance has been pivotal in shaping my path toward this momentous decision to enter the NFL draft. 

‘Thank you once again for everything. I am truly honored to have been a part of the Purple Fam and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.

‘I am thrilled to represent the University at Albany as I take this next step in my football career. Sad that it’s over but grateful that it happened.’ 

Pennsylvania

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

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