Former Florida and Oakland Raiders linebacker Neiron Ball died of complications after a lengthy battle with a brain illness early Monday morning.
Ball played at UF under former coaches Urban Meyer and Will Muschamp from 2010-2014. He missed the entire 2011 season when he underwent surgery for arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which can cause blood vessels in the brain to rupture. The exact cause of death is unclear.
His sister, Natalie Ball Myricks, announced Ball’s death on Facebook Tuesday.
“Neiron was a very special and loving father, brother, and teammate,” she wrote. “Neiron has transitioned to a place of peace.”
After his recovery, he returned to the team, starting 16 games over his final three seasons before being drafted by Oakland in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He had nine tackles and a sack in his only professional season.
Ball’s condition worsened last September, when he suffered a brain aneurysm that paralyzed all four limbs and left him in a medically induced coma.
According to a GoFundMe page created by his family on July 23, Ball was “fighting for his life.” Since then, the page has raised more than $130,000 as of Tuesday evening — shattering its goal of $100,000.
More than 2,300 people contributed to the page.
Former Gators teammate and current-Raider offensive tackle Trent Brown reacted on Twitter to the news of Ball’s death.
“Some tears you just don’t be prepared for…” he said in one post.
“Suffer no more,” he said in another.
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In this Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015 photo, Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Neiron Ball (58) stands on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Oakland, Calif. Former Oakland Raiders linebacker Neiron Ball, who played college football at Florida after recovering from brain surgery, has died. He was 27.(AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Linebacker Neiron Ball (11) returns an interception thrown by Georgia’s Aaron Murray during the first quarter of UF’s 17-9 loss on Saturday at EverBank Field.