LaShawn Maurkice Pouncey (born July 24, 1989) is an American football center 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.
|No. 53 – Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Born:||July 24, 1989|
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||304 lb (138 kg)|
|High school:||Lakeland (Lakeland, Florida)|
|NFL Draft:||2010 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2018|
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 began 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-riddled defense. Pouncey saw action at right guard and center his freshman year. He started the season at right guard for the season opener against Western Kentucky, becoming only the seventh true freshman in team history to do so. In a week 6 loss to No. 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 No. 8 Kentucky. On November 3, 2007, he would again get a champion grade of 83% in a win over Vanderbilt. He finished the season starting 11 games at right guard and playing in all 13. Rivals and College Football News selected him as a freshman first-team All-American and he would also be voted to the Freshman All-SEC team by the coaches and Sporting News.
Beginning in 2008, Pouncey became the full-time starting center for Florida next to his twin brother Mike at right guard. He compiled six games with a grade of 90% or better. The first came in week 3 against Tennessee, where he would have a grade of 93%. In week 6 he was recognized as the 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 Oklahoma to win the FedEx BCS National Championship.
In the season opener against Charleston Southern, he began 2009 with a grade of 98% and had two 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 match-up against Kentucky, he would end with a grade of 90% and receive Champion Club Honors. On October 10, Florida traveled to Death Valley to face No. 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 No. 2 Alabama in the SEC Championship. last game would be the 2010 AllState Sugarbowl against No. 4 Cincinnati and he would finish his season with an average grade of 91.5% and 30 knockdowns. Pouncey won the Rimington Award, becoming Florida's first player to do so. He was also voted a first-team All-American by CBSsports.com, Sporting News, Football Weekly, and Walter Camp.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 4 1⁄2 in
|32 1⁄2 in
|5.29 s||1.83 s||3.07 s||4.92 s||7.74 s||26 in
|7 ft 11 in
|Stats from NFL Scouting Combine/Florida pro-day|
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.
On July 30, 2010, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Pouncey to a five-year, $14.80 million contract with $7.94 million guaranteed.
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 five-year, $44.12 million contract extension with a $13.00 million signing bonus. 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.
On August 23, 2015, during the Steelers' first preseason game, Pouncey suffered a broken fibula when Green Bay Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix rolled onto the back of Pouncey's ankle. His recovery was delayed further after he developed an infection that required a second surgery. Pouncey ultimately missed the entire 2015 season.
Pouncey was named to his fifth career Pro Bowl in recognition of his 2016 season.
On March 7, 2019, Pouncey signed a three-year, $33 million contract extension with the Steelers through the 2021 season, making him the highest-paid center in the NFL.
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.
- GatorZone.com, Football History, 2009 Roster, Maurkice Pouncey Archived October 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
- Maurkice Pouncey Recruiting Profile
- Rivals.com offensive guards 2007
- 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 89, 95, 97, 98, 101, 103, 106, 185 (2011). Retrieved August 14, 2011.
- "Gatorzone:Player Profile:Maurkice Pouncey".
- 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.
- "Sportrac.com: Maurkice Pouncey contract". sportrac.com. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
- "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.
- Bob Labriola Steelers.com @BobLabriola (June 12, 2014). "Pouncey's deal is win-win". Steelers.com. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
- "Pouncey injures leg in Steelers first preseason victory". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. August 23, 2015. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
- "Pouncey's season in jeopardy after infection forces new surgery". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. October 15, 2015. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
- "Steelers place Maurkice Pouncey on Reserve/Injured; Designated for Return List". Steelers.com. September 6, 2015. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
- "NFL announces 2017 Pro Bowl rosters". NFL.com. December 20, 2016.
- "NFL announces 2018 Pro Bowl rosters". NFL.com. December 19, 2017. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
- "Steelers lock up Maurkice Pouncey, Ramon Foster". NFL.com. March 7, 2019.
- 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.