Family Of NY College Football Standout, NFL Hopeful Who Died At 25 Sees Flood Of Support

Support is swelling for the family of a former college football standout in New York following his unexpected death at age 25.

Amitral “AJ” Simon

Amitral “AJ” Simon

Photo Credit: GoFundMe/Dominique Simon

Amitral “AJ” Simon, a former defensive lineman for the University at Albany, died Tuesday, April 16, relatives confirmed. A cause of death was not given.

Simon announced late last year that he was entering his name in the NFL Draft, which is scheduled for Thursday, April 25 to Saturday, April 27.

The 6-foot-1, 270-pound Simon, a native of Pennsylvania from Coolbaugh Township in Monroe County, was a first-team All-CAA defensive selection last year.

He played in high school at Pocono Mountain West and was a first-team all-conference selection at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania before transferring to UAlbany before the 2022 season.

Simon was the No. 2-ranked small-college prospect for the NFL Draft, according to CBS Sports, which wrote, "Simon is not being talked about enough as one of the top edge rushers in the class. He's gotten better each season, going from Division II Bloomsburg to FCS UAlbany, to having a stellar week of work at the Hula Bowl."

He was at “the pinnacle” of his football career when he died, organizer Dominique Simon wrote on a GoFundMe page created to help the family with funeral expenses. Nearly $30,000 had been raised by Friday, April 19.

“AJ was an amazing son, brother, uncle, teammate, friend and inspiration to many. He was a star on and off the field with an immense impact on the youth and community” she said.

“We are so proud of the man he was and still is. We will continue to cheer him on forever through cherished memories.”

The UAlbany football program remembered Simon as “a tremendous young man and even better teammate throughout his time at UAlbany,” in a tribute on X. “He will be profoundly missed.”

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