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NFL hopeful AJ Simon dead aged 25 - 'He was a tremendous young man'

The Albany football star died one week before the NFL draft 

NFL hopeful AJ Simon died at 25
Hannah Hargrave
US Deputy Editor
April 18, 2024
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Former University of Albany football star, Amitral 'AJ' Simon, has died at the age of 25. 

The defensive lineman's tragic passing was announced via his football team's X account on April 17. 

The news comes just one week before the NFL draft which AJ was entering. 

View post on X

The statement on social media read: "The UAlbany football program was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former student-athlete Amitral "AJ" Simon this morning. He 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."

View post on X

The statement concluded: "He will be profoundly missed."

Head coach. Greg Gattuso, said that he had become friends with AJ and sent his love and prayers to his family. 

AJ's character and passion for the sport was remembered by many. The Athletic's Dane Brugler paid tribute: "The No. 1 constant from his tape was the effort, which earned him a lot of attention from NFL teams the last few months," he said after learning of his death. 

View post on Instagram

"I thought his competitive play personality gave him a legitimate chance to stick in the NFL, either as a late-round draft pick or priority free agent. His passing is heartbreaking news for so many people, including the NFL community.”

The team's director of digital content, Taylor O'Connor shared an emotional message on X: "AJ would text me for cool edits after the season ended and he started prepping for the NFL Draft," he wrote alongside photos of the athlete. 

"Was always so kind & appreciative of everything I sent him. I joked with him 'Don’t forget about me when you make it to the NFL!' He laughed and said 'Never!'".

AJ started his college career at Bloomsburg University before transferring to UAlbany in 2022.

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