Background and college
Born October 28, 1980 in Detroit, Michigan, Pace attended Lithia Springs High School in Douglasville, Georgia from 1994 to 1998, where he was varsity starter for three straight years. Pace had an an excellent senior campaign with 88 total tackles, five caused fumbles, and three fumble recoveries in the process earning all-region and county defensive-player-of-the-year honors in 1997. Pace attended Wake Forest University and was a letterman in football. In football, he was a two-time second team All-ACC selection and finished his impressive college football career with 29 sacks, 189 tackles, five forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. His 29 sacks have him second on the alltime list at Wake Forest.
Before the Jets
Pace was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals with the 18th overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. He started all 16 games in the 2003 season, recording 32 tackles. In 2004 he had a career-high 4.5 sacks, but 2005 was disrupted by an accident, in which he severely lacerated his right forearm. In 2007, Pace started all 16 games, and posted 98 tackles and 6½ sacks last season, with one interception, six passes defensed, a forced fumble and two recoveries.
As a Jet
On March 3 2008, Pace and the Jets agreed upon a six-year, 42 million deal that includes $22 million in guaranteed money. He had turned down a previous offer with the Miami Dolphins prior to signing with the Jets.