Maurkice Pouncey

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Maurkice Pouncey
No. 53 Pittsburgh Steelers
Position: Center / Guard
Personal information
Date of birth: (1989-07-24) July 24, 1989 (age 26)
Place of birth: Ardmore, Oklahoma
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 304 lb (138 kg)
Career information
High school: Lakeland (FL)
College: Florida
NFL draft: 2010 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18
Career history
Roster status: Injury Reserve
Career highlights and awards
NFL
College
Career NFL statistics as of 2014
Games played: 62
Games started: 62
Stats at NFL.com

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 at Florida, where he was a member of a BCS National Championship team and recognized as a consensus All-American, and was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Early years[edit]

Pouncey was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma.[1] He attended Lakeland High School in Lakeland, Florida, where he was a standout lineman for the Lakeland Dreadnaughts high school football team.[2] 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.[2]

Considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com,[3] Pouncey was listed as the No. 15 offensive guard in the nation in 2007.[4] He chose Florida over offers from Florida State, Clemson, Miami and Michigan.

College career[edit]

Pouncey accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida,[2] where he played for coach Urban Meyer's Florida Gators football team from 2007 to 2009.[5]

Freshman Season[edit]

Pouncey would begin attending the University of Florida early in 2007. His twin brother Mike would also join the gators playing defensive line his first season to help an injury rittled team. Maurkice would see action at right guard and center his freshman year. He would begin the season starting at right guard for the season opener against Western Kentucky, becoming only the seventh true freshman in school history to do so. In a week 6 loss to #6 LSU, he would have a grade of 86%. The next week he would have a grade of 85% while the gators would upset the #8 Kentucky. On November 3, 2007 he would again get a champion grade of 83% in a win over Vanderbilt. He would end the season starting 11 games at right guard and playing in all 13. Rivals and College Football News would vote him to be a Freshman first-team All-American and he would also be voted to the Freshman All-SEC team by the coaches and Sporting News.[6]

Sophomore Season[edit]

Beginning in 2008, Pouncey would become the full-time starting center for Florida next to his twin brother Mike at right guard. He would amass 6 games with a grade of 90% or better. The first would come in week 3 against Tennessee, where he would have a grade of 93%. In week 6 he would garner SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his performance against Arkansas. Pouncey would have a season-high grade of 97% against LSU and then 98% the next game against Kentucky. While playing South Carolina he would have a grade of 90, his last above that mark for the season. The Gators would go on to win the SEC Championship and then defeat University to win the FedEx BCS National Championship.[6]

Junior Season[edit]

In the season opener against Charleston Southern, he would begin 2009 with a grade of 98% and have 2 knockdowns in the game. The next week he would again post a grade of 98% in a victory over Troy. In the first SEC game of the year, Pouncey would play 61 snaps and receive a grade of 93% for the game. During the week 4 matchup against Kentucky, he would end with a grade of 90% and receive Champion Club Honors. On October 10, Florida would go into Death Valley to face #4 LSU. He would have a season-high grade of 99% in the 13-3 victory over the Tigers. His 28th consecutive start would also be his last game at the swamp. The Gators would go on to defeat Florida State 37-10. After going undefeated the entire regular season, the gators would lose to #2 Alabama in the SEC Championship. His last game would be the 2010 AllState Sugarbowl against #4 Cincinnati and he would finish his season with an average grade of 91.5% and 30 knockdowns. Pouncey would win the Rimington Award, becoming University of Florida's first player to do so. He would also be voted a first-team All-American by CBSsports.com, Sporting News, Football Weekly All-American, and Walter Camp.[6]

He would finish his career with 39 starts in 41 games played. After his junior season he would enter the NFL Draft.[6]

Professional career[edit]

2010 NFL Draft[edit]

Pouncey entered the 2010 NFL Draft as the consensus No. 1 center available, ahead of Matt Tennant, J. D. Walton, and Eric Olsen.[7] 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.

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 4½ in 304 lb 32½ in 10 in 5.29 s 4.92 s 7.74 s 26 in 7 ft 11 in 27 reps
Stats from NFL Scouting Combine and/or Florida pro-day[8]

Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

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.[9] 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.[10][11] 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.[12] 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.

Personal[edit]

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.[13] Pouncey has a daughter, Jayda (born October 10, 2011).[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Football League, Current Players, Maurkice Pouncey. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c GatorZone.com, Football History, 2009 Roster, Maurkice Pouncey. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  3. ^ Maurkice Pouncey Recruiting Profile
  4. ^ Rivals.com offensive guards 2007
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ a b c d "Gatorzone:Player Profile:Maurkice Pouncey". 
  7. ^ NFL Draft 2010, Breakdowns by Position: Center, Sports illustrated. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  8. ^ "Steelers 2010 Draft Picks Combine Pro Day Numbers Stats," SteelersDepot.com (April 26, 2010). Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  9. ^ "Rams QB Bradford picked as NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year," NFL.com (February 4, 2011). Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  10. ^ "Key Steelers Player Will Miss Rest of Season After Being Injured by Teammate". Fox Sports. September 8, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Maurkice Pouncey has torn ACL, MCL". ESPN. September 8, 2013. 
  12. ^ http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Pounceys-deal-is-win-win/8f313ac1-e9c5-45a4-a63f-7d41fa029084
  13. ^ Dave Curtis, "Identical twins Mike and Maurkice Pouncey will make formidable front for UF foes," TCPALM (April 11, 2008). Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  14. ^ Steelers center Pouncey having a busy week. TribLIVE.com. Retrieved August 10, 2013.

External links[edit]