Family of NFL Prospect AJ Simon Sets Up GoFundMe After His Death: ‘Our Family Lost a Piece of Our Heart’

"He was a star on and off the field with an immense impact on the youth and community,” sister Dominque Simon said about the late UAlbany standout

<p>AJ Simon/Instagram</p>

AJ Simon/Instagram

  • AJ Simon's family has launched a GoFundMe in the late college football player's memory

  • The University at Albany standout died in his sleep on April 16

  • Family members, teammates and coaches have spoken about about Simon's impact on and off the field

Amitral “AJ” Simon’s family members say they will “forever” miss the standout college football player who died unexpectedly, less than two weeks before the NFL Draft.

In a GoFundMe launched in the late athlete’s honor, Dominique Simon said that her family has "lost a piece of our heart that will forever be missed."

“He was a star on and off the field with an immense impact on the youth and community,” Simon said about her 25-year-old brother, who played defensive end for the University at Albany. “His smile was contagious. His laugh and his presence would light up a room. He was at the pinnacle of his football career with the NFL draft ahead of him.”

AJ, who declared his intent to enter the 2024 NFL Draft in December, played two seasons at UAlbany after playing Division II ball at Bloomsburg University, according to the Times Union.

Related: Albany Football Star AJ Simon Dead at 25, 1 Week Before NFL Draft

The 6-foot 1-inch, 260-pound lineman had 17.5 sacks over the past two seasons, with the majority coming in 2023 during the Great Danes’ 11-4 campaign, per the newspaper.

“AJ’s love for the game was known to all those who knew him,” Dominique wrote in the GoFundMe. “We are so proud of the man he was and still is. We will continue to cheer him on forever through cherished memories.”

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According to his obituary, AJ died in his sleep on April 16. In addition to Dominique, AJ is survived by his parents, Amitral Sr. and Felma Simon, his sister Doronella, a niece and a nephew.

One day after his death, UAlbany shared a statement on X honoring the late athlete, writing that he would be "profoundly missed."

"He was a tremendous young man and even better teammate throughout his time at UAlbany," according to the statement, which added that AJ served "as a pillar to this program over the last two years."

Related: Houston Astros Prospect Ronny Garcia Dead at 24 Following Traffic Accident in the Dominican Republic

A funeral is set for Monday, April 29 at Community Church in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania.

“If love could have saved him, he would have lived forever,” Dominique wrote.

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