AJ Simon dead: Albany defensive lineman and NFL prospect dies aged 25

NFL prodigy AJ Simon has died aged 25. NFL prodigy AJ Simon has died aged 25.
NFL prodigy AJ Simon has died aged 25. | YouTube
AJ Simon had announced in December that he was planning to enter the 2024 NFL draft

American Footballer and NFL prodigy Amitral ‘AJ’ Simon has died at the age of 25. The defensive lineman who represented the University of Albany had hoped to be selected for the upcoming NFL draft, which takes place in just a week's time in Detroit. No cause of death has been confirmed.

The University of Albany announced the news in an emotional statement on Wednesday 17 April. It reads: “The UAlbany football program was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former student-athlete Amitral 'AJ' Simon this morning.

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“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, amassed 55 tackles - and 12.5 sacks - as the Great Danes won a first ever Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) title and reached the semifinals of the FCS playoffs in 2023.

He picked up several accolades, including All-CAA first team defence and FCS football central first team All-American. He had begun his college career at Bloomsburg University - and was named to the 2021 First Team All Conference - before playing the past two seasons for Albany. 

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.'

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