Community Mourns After Death Of AJ Simon

Amitral ‘AJ’ Simon, former star defensive lineman for the University at Albany football team, tragically passed away at the young age of 25. His death comes just days before the 2024 NFL draft, where he had hoped to be selected. Simon’s sudden and unexpected passing has left his family, friends, and former teammates devastated and in shock.

Simon, who was born in Pennsylvania, was a key player on the Albany team, helping them win their first Coastal Athletic Association title and reach the semifinals of the FCS playoffs in 2023.

He was a dedicated and talented athlete, amassing 55 tackles and 12.5 sacks during his time with the Great Danes. Simon’s skills did not go unnoticed, as he received numerous accolades, including being named to the All-CAA first team defense and FCS football central first-team All-American.

Simon’s impact went beyond his on-field achievements. He was known as a role model both on and off the field, and his teammates and coaches remember him fondly as a pillar of the program. In a statement released by the Albany football program, they expressed their deep sadness and shared their memories of Simon as a tremendous young man and teammate.

Simon’s coaches and teammates were not the only ones affected by his passing. Fans and NFL hopefuls alike have also been deeply impacted by the news. Tributes have been pouring in from all over, with many sharing their own personal memories and stories of the impact Simon had on their lives. He will be forever remembered as a kind, talented, and beloved member of the Albany family.

With the upcoming draft only days away, Simon’s passing has cast a shadow over the event. But his legacy will live on through those who knew and loved him.

Albany coach Greg Gattuso shared a post on social media, declaring that Simon would always hold a special place in his heart and that he was loved by the entire team. Teammate and associate head coach Jared Ambrose shared his shock and heartbreak, saying that words cannot express who Simon was and how much he meant to so many people.

Simon had big dreams of reaching the NFL, and it seemed he was well on his way. Earlier this year, he shared a video of seven NFL scouts who showed up to Albany’s Pro Day to check him out.

And just last December, Simon announced he would be entering the draft, stating that his time at Albany had not only shaped him into a better athlete but a better person. His determination and hard work will continue to inspire others for years to come.

The news of Simon’s death comes just days after another young athlete, Texas A&M-Commerce wide receiver Keith Miller III, was found dead. Simon’s passing serves as a tragic reminder of the unpredictability of life and the importance of cherishing every moment.

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