Ron Brace: Boston College's big man

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

It's one thing to write about how big a defensive tackle is, and another to actually sit down face-to-face with a man-wall like Ron Brace, a 324-pound left tackle from Boston College.

The best thing about this guy?

His personality looms just as large.

"There's a lot of meat in the middle with me and B.J. (Raji)," he said, laughing. "It's a big jump -- you've got 325-pound tackles and you've got some 240-pound ends."

Left end Alex Albright will bring the speed off the edge in the pass rush, but Brace has become a little more mobile himself. When he first came to Chestnut Hill, Mass., he weighed 366 pounds. He's been losing weight ever since -- not that he was piling up on cookies, cakes and candy before.

"I'm not really a desert person anyway," he said. "I think it helped me so much, especially at this level of playing, how fast it is."

Given the question marks on offense, Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski said he's looking for the defense to carry the Eagles "for the first part of the season."

"That's the strength of our football team, is the front seven on defense," he said.

"They're big," he said of Brace and Raji. "They're big. ... We're going to get a lot of push up the middle now."

Not that it's all work, no play for these guys.

During summer camp, it's become a tradition on one day off for director of football operations Barry Gallup to take the players to the IMAX theater or a local ice cream/driving range run by a BC alum.

"I take about maybe five swings, maybe one ball will get out there 100 yards, another will just dribble off the platform," Brace said with a chuckle. "I say, 'Forget that,' and head to the batting cages where I'm not any better. So I just go have me a little low-fat yogurt in the corner and wait til we leave, sitting in the putting area."

Sometimes talking to these guys is as entertaining as watching them play.