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.

Gators

Game capatins Andre Debose (4), Jeff Driskel (6) and Neiron Ball (11) walk out the players tunnel prior to kickoff between UF and UK on Sept. 15, 2014 evening in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

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.

Neiron Ball

Sophomore linebacker Neiron Ball (11) prepares to rush the passer in Florida’s 17-9 loss to Georgia on Nov. 1, 2012 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville. 

 

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.

 

Contact Tyler Nettuno at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @TylerNettuno.

Tyler Nettuno is a sports writer for the Alligator and covers the University of Florida men's basketball team. He has previously covered UF golf and lacrosse. He has worked at the paper since Fall 2017.