Former Boston College defensive tackle Ron Brace has died, per family and friends' posts on Facebook.
Brace matriculated to Boston College in 2004 out of Burncoat Senior High School in Worcester, Massachusetts. After redshirting his first year, he debuted with Boston College against Brigham Young, where he registered 11 tackles in 12 games.
Over the years, he formed the core of a formidable interior defensive line with BJ Raji during what would be the golden years of Eagles football during the 2000s. An All-ACC Honorable Mention winner in 2007, he earned 2008 Second Team All-ACC honors despite not registering 30 tackles in a single season.
In 2007, Brace registered 27 total tackles, including 7.5 for a loss, backing that up with 27 more tackles in 2008 as Boston College won back-to-back ACC Atlantic Division championships. The '07 Eagles allowed less than 100 rushing yards per game on an average of 2.4 yards per carry, then followed it up with a repeat performance in 2008. The Eagles finished both seasons in the top 20 in the nation in points per game allowed.
Both Brace and Raji entered the 2009 NFL Draft, departing together. After Raji was selected by the Green Bay Packers with the ninth overall selection, the New England Patriots picked Brace with the 40th overall pick, making a top ten selection in the second round.
Brace earned his first career start in his rookie year against the Buffalo Bills, starting in place of an injured Vince Wilfork. But he never became the player some believed he could be, and after landing on injured reserve in 2010, he started 2011 on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list. In December, 2012, Brace was released by New England. He was subsequently signed but never played in a regular season game by Washington, who cut him before the start of the 2013 season.
Our condolences to all who will mourn the loss of this legendary Eagle.