NFL Draft Prospect AJ Simon Passes Away at 25

Community mourns as promising athlete AJ Simon passes away.

by Faizan Chaudhary
NFL Draft Prospect AJ Simon Passes Away at 25

Amitral "AJ" Simon, a standout pass rusher and a promising NFL Draft prospect, tragically passed away at the age of 25, leaving the sports community in mourning. The University of Albany, where Simon had played and become a pivotal member of the football team, confirmed the sorrowful news on Wednesday.

In a heartfelt statement released on social media, the university remembered Simon as "Forever a Great Dane," highlighting his indelible impact both on and off the field. "The UAlbany football program was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former student-athlete Amitral 'AJ' Simon this morning," the statement read.

It praised him as a tremendous individual and a teammate whose leadership and character were exemplary throughout his tenure with the team.

Simon: A True Leader

AJ Simon was revered not just for his athletic prowess but also for his qualities as a human being and a leader.

"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," the team added, reflecting the deep emotional void his passing has left. While the details surrounding Simon’s death have not been disclosed, the legacy he leaves behind is clear.

During his last season, Simon was a first-team All-CAA defensive end and played a crucial role in leading Albany to a semifinal appearance in the FCS playoffs. Greg Gattuso, the Great Danes’ head coach, shared his personal grief on X, a social media platform.

"Two joyous years coaching and becoming friends with AJ Simon," he posted. "My prayers are dedicated to the Simon family. I love you AJ and will always have a special place in my heart for #8." Simon's potential in the upcoming NFL Draft was recognized by top teams, including the New England Patriots, who met with him last week as part of their pre-draft evaluation, signaling his strong prospects for either a late draft pick or as a sought-after undrafted free agent.

His collegiate journey began at Bloomsburg University, after which he transferred to Albany in 2022. Here, he made a significant mark by recording 29 tackles, 4½ sacks, and an interception in his first year. His performance peaked last season with 50 tackles, 12 sacks, and two passes defended, underscoring his growth and readiness for professional challenges.

As the football community and his loved ones come to terms with this loss, the memory of AJ Simon's spirit, both on the gridiron and in life, continues to inspire and resonate within the hearts of many.