BREAKING: Top NFL Draft Prospect Has Tragically Passed Away

NFL Draft stage and logo.NFL Draft stage and logo. (Photo by Getty Images)

Top NFL Draft prospect Amitral “AJ” Simon Jr. has tragically passed away this Wednesday.

Simon, a first-team All-CAA defensive end for the University of Albany who played a significant role in the program’s trip to the NCAA FCS playoffs, is dead as the result of a heart attack. He was 25 years old.

UAlbany football took to Twitter/X to reveal as much on Wednesday afternoon in a heartfelt statement.

The UAlbany football program was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former student-athlete Amitral ‘AJ’ Simon this morning,” it reads. “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. He will be profoundly missed.

Head coach Greg Gattuso also paid tribute to his former player on social media.

He wrote, “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.

Top NFL Draft Prospect AJ Simon Was Hoping To Be Drafted In 2024

AJ Simon joined the Great Danes in 2022, having begun his college career at Bloomsburg University.

He registered 10.5 tackles for loss that season, adding five sacks. He took things up another level last season as he made 21.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks, joining teammate and defensive end Anton Juncaj as the joint leaders of a pass rush boasting the most sacks in the FCS in 2023.

The star pass rusher recorded four games with multiple sacks last season, including three against Fordham and Villanova, plus two sacks and a forced fumble in UAlbany’s second-round FCS playoff victory vs. Richmond.

He left the Great Danes at the end of the 2023 season, hoping to be drafted this month.

Our hearts go out to AJ’s family, friends, teammates, and loved ones.

May he rest in peace.


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