LaShawn Maurkice Pouncey (born July 24, 1989) is an American football center and guard for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Florida, was a member of a BCS National Championship team, and was recognized as a consensus All-American. He was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, and is a four-time Pro Bowl selection.
Pouncey was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma. He attended Lakeland High School in Lakeland, Florida, where he was a standout lineman for the Lakeland Dreadnaughts high school football team. As a senior in 2006, he helped lead Lakeland High to its third consecutive Florida Class 5A state championship and second straight USA Today national championship.
Considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Pouncey was listed as the No. 15 offensive guard in the nation in 2007. He chose Florida over offers from Florida State, Clemson, Miami and Michigan.
Pouncey accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Urban Meyer's Florida Gators football team from 2007 to 2009.
As a freshman in 2007, Pouncey started 11 of 13 games for the Gators at right guard. As a sophomore in 2008, he started all 14 of the Gators' games at center, including the Gators' victories in the SEC Championship Game against the Alabama Crimson Tide, and the BCS National Championship Game against the Oklahoma Sooners.
As a junior in 2009, he was a first-team All-SEC selection and a consensus All-American, receiving first-team honors from the Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News and the Walter Camp Football Foundation, and second-team honors from the Associated Press. He was awarded the Rimington Trophy following the 2009 season, and thereafter decided to forgo his senior year of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft.
2010 NFL Draft
Pouncey entered the 2010 NFL Draft as the consensus No. 1 center available, ahead of Matt Tennant, J. D. Walton, and Eric Olsen. The Pittsburgh Steelers chose Pouncey in the first round (18th pick overall). He was the highest selected center since Damien Woody in 1999, and the highest selected Gators offensive lineman since Kenyatta Walker in 2001.
||Wt<th>Arm length</th><th>Hand size</th>
<td colspan="20" align="center">Stats from NFL Scouting Combine and/or Florida pro-day</td>
|6 ft 4½ in
||304 lb<td align="center">32½ in</td><td align="center">10 in</td>
||7 ft 11 in
His rookie year, he started in all 16 games played at the center position, and was selected to the Pro Bowl. Additionally, in accordance with his exceptional play as a center during his rookie year, he received 2 votes (out of 50) for the National Football League Rookie of the Year Award. In the AFC championship game during Pouncey's rookie year, Pouncey injured his ankle during the win and was not able to play in the Super Bowl. The Steelers would go on to lose the Super Bowl to the Green Bay Packers.
Pouncey played 14 games in 2011 then 15 games in 2012. Both those years, he was a Pro Bowl selection.
In Week 1 of the 2013 season, Pouncey tore his right ACL and MCL after Steelers guard David DeCastro accidentally dove into Pouncey's right leg while trying to assist Pouncey in blocking Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Sammie Lee Hill. He was subsequently placed on injured reserve, ending his season.
On June 12, 2014, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Pouncey to a 5-year, $44 million contract extension. This extension made him, at that time, the highest paid center in the National Football League. After a successful recovery from knee surgery, Pouncey started all 16 games in 2014 and was selected to the Pro Bowl for the fourth time of his career.
Pouncey's identical twin brother Mike Pouncey was selected 15th overall by the Miami Dolphins in the 2011 NFL Draft. Maurkice is one minute younger than Mike. Pouncey has a daughter, Jayda (born October 10, 2011).
- ^ National Football League, Current Players, Maurkice Pouncey. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
- ^ a b c d e GatorZone.com, Football History, 2009 Roster, Maurkice Pouncey. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
- ^ Maurkice Pouncey Recruiting Profile
- ^ Rivals.com offensive guards 2007
- ^ a b 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 89, 95, 97, 98, 101, 103, 106, 185 (2011). Retrieved August 14, 2011.
- ^ 2012 NCAA Football Records Book, Award Winners, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Indianapolis, Indiana, pp. 11 & 14 (2012). Retrieved September 14, 2012.
- ^ "Dunlap, Maurkice Pouncey to enter draft," ESPN (January 11, 2010). Retrieved May 6, 2011.
- ^ NFL Draft 2010, Breakdowns by Position: Center, Sports illustrated. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
- ^ "Steelers 2010 Draft Picks Combine Pro Day Numbers Stats," SteelersDepot.com (April 26, 2010). Retrieved May 6, 2011.
- ^ "Rams QB Bradford picked as NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year," NFL.com (February 4, 2011). Retrieved May 15, 2012.
- ^ "Key Steelers Player Will Miss Rest of Season After Being Injured by Teammate". Fox Sports. September 8, 2013.
- ^ "Maurkice Pouncey has torn ACL, MCL". ESPN. September 8, 2013.
- ^ http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Pounceys-deal-is-win-win/8f313ac1-e9c5-45a4-a63f-7d41fa029084
- ^ Dave Curtis, "Identical twins Mike and Maurkice Pouncey will make formidable front for UF foes," TCPALM (April 11, 2008). Retrieved August 18, 2011.
- ^ Steelers center Pouncey having a busy week. TribLIVE.com. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
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