Ryan’s ex-college teammate, Brace, dies at 29

FLOWERY BRANCH – Former New England defensive tackle Ron Brace, who played in college with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan at Boston College, died at age 29 on Sunday.

Ryan took to twitter to express his condolences.

“Saddened to hear about the passing of friend and former teammate Ron Brace,” Ryan tweeted. “His smile was contagious. Thoughts and prayers to his family.”

The cause of death was not immediately known. Police told MassLive.com that the death was not suspicious.

Brace, was the 40th overall pick of the 2009 draft. He played 29 games and made seven starts. His career was shortened by injuries.

Brace was on the Patriots team that advanced to Super Bowl XLVI at the end of the 2011 season.

The Patriots released a statement on Brace’s death:

“We were deeply saddened to hear the news this morning of Ron Brace’s death. Seven years ago tomorrow (4/25/09), we drafted Ron after his standout career at Boston College. During his Patriots career, the Springfield native was always eager to volunteer and give back in our communities, especially when those community initiatives were held in Western Mass. It is difficult to believe that someone so young and in the prime of his life is no longer with us. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ron’s family, friends and the many former teammates who will mourn Ron’s passing.”