University of Albany Football Star Amitral Simon Dies at 25, Days Before NFL Draft

Tragic loss of Albany defensive lineman Amitral "AJ" Simon, 25, who passed away a week before potentially being drafted by the NFL. His dominant 2023 season and admired character left a lasting impact.

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University of Albany Football Star Amitral Simon Dies at 25, Days Before NFL Draft

University of Albany Football Star Amitral Simon Dies at 25, Days Before NFL Draft

Amitral "AJ" Simon, a standout defensive lineman for the University of Albany, passed away at the age of 25, just one week before he was potentially set to be selected in the NFL draft. Simon had a dominant final season for Albany in 2023, recording 12.5 sacks and over 20 tackles.

The University of Albany announced Simon's passing in an emotional statement, remembering him as a "tremendous young man" and a "role model both on and off the field." The cause of his death has not been disclosed at this time.

Why this matters: Simon's tragic passing comes at a time when he was on the cusp of potentially realizing his NFL dreams. His death has sent shockwaves through the college football community and beyond, as he was widely admired for his talent, work ethic, and character.

Simon began his college career at Bloomsburg University before transferring to Albany, where he played for the past two seasons. He quickly established himself as a force on the Great Danes' defensive line, earning first-team All-CAA honors and being named an FCS First Team All-American by multiple outlets in 2023.

While Simon was not guaranteed to be drafted, many projected him as a potential late-round pick or priority free agent signing. His impressive measurables - he stood 6-foot-3 and weighed 275 pounds - and production against top competition had caught the attention of NFL scouts.

Key Takeaways

  • Amitral "AJ" Simon, a standout defensive lineman for Albany, passed away at 25.
  • Simon had a dominant 2023 season, helping Albany reach FCS playoffs.
  • Simon's death came just before he was set to be selected in the NFL draft.
  • Albany remembered Simon as a "tremendous young man" and "role model" on and off the field.
  • The cause of Simon's death has not been disclosed, but his passing has shocked the college football community.