Neiron Ball, former Florida linebacker, dies at 27 after battling rare brain condition

Former Florida standout Neiron Ball died Tuesday, one year after suffering a brain aneurysm. He was 27.

Ball's sister, Natalie Ball Myricks, announced on Facebook that he had died. Ball was admitted to the hospital last September after he suffered a ruptured blood vessel in his brain. He had been in a medically-induced coma for an extended period of time leading up to his death. 

"The Ball family is forever grateful for the prayers, donations and immense support of Neiron and his recovery," Ball Myricks wrote in the heartfelt post. "Neiron was a very special and loving father, brother and teammate. Neiron has transitioned to a place of peace."

The Florida community weighed in on the passing of Ball after the news became official. The Florida football program tweeted their condolences and said that Ball would be "forever remembered" for his impact.

In addition, former Florida offensive tackle Xavier Nixon called Ball one of the "best teammates and humans" he's ever known.

Ball made a name for himself as a member of the Florida Gators defense. During his collegiate career, the Georgia native registered 94 tackles (37 solo), three sacks and an interception.

In 2011, Ball was diagnosed with a rare blood vessel disorder called arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which is only found in one percent of the population. Despite being diagnosed with the rare disorder, Ball ended up returning in 2012 and played the next three seasons for the Gators. In 2013, he played in all 12 games and started seven of those contests.

Ball was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. During his rookie season in 2015, he recorded his first career sack against the Cleveland Browns, but was placed on injured reserve in December of that same season due to a knee injury. Ball had nine tackles, a sack and a recovered fumble in two starts for the Raiders in 2015 

The Raiders ended up releasing Ball on separate occasions over the next two seasons. 

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