Former Florida Gators stars Maurkice and Mike Pouncey retire from NFL after 21 combined seasons

By Adam Silverstein
February 12, 2021
Former Florida Gators stars Maurkice and Mike Pouncey retire from NFL after 21 combined seasons
Football

Image Credit: The Gainesville Sun

Maurkice and Mike Pouncey, two of the greatest offensive lineman in the history of the Florida Gators football program, officially retired from the NFL on Friday after lengthy careers as professionals. The Pounceys announced their retirement via a friend as neither are regular social media users these days.

“I cry & I laugh that twin boys from Lakeland FL that grew up in poverty made it this far in life both living our NFL dreams,” Maurkice said. “… For the next generation dreams do come true but it takes a lot of sacrifice, dedication, education & hard work! No one is going to hand you anything in life! Save your money & always remain humble!”

“I am thankful for everything football has taught me and everywhere it has taken me!” Mike wrote. “Dream big kids because they do come true not because you dream it and think it’s just going to happen but because you work as hard as you can towards it and make it happen! Never be afraid to make a mistake learn from them and fix it!”

The No. 18 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Maurkice was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers and played his entire career with the franchise. He did not play in the lone Super Bowl the Steelers advanced to during his tenure (Pittsburgh lost) but nevertheless completed a potential Pro Football Hall of Fame career. Maurkice was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection (2010-12, 2014, 2016-20), three-time First Team All-Pro (2011, 2012, 2014) and a member of the NFL’s 2010s All-Decade team. He started all 134 games he played over 11 seasons.

Mike remained at Florida one year longer than Maurkice in order to replace his brother as the Gators’ starting center. That move paid off as Mike wound up drafted higher, the No. 15 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. He spent seven seasons in Miami before playing the last three with the Los Angeles Chargers, starting all 114 of the games he played over those 10 campaigns. Mike finished as a four-time Pro Bowl selection (2013-15, 2018) with the brothers combining for 13 Pro Bowls in 21 combined seasons of play.

The Pounceys were both members of the Gators’ 2008 national championship team and are among the winningest offensive linemen in program history. Maurkice was a Consensus All-American and winner of the Rimington Trophy in 2009, while Mike was a two-time First Team All-American in 2009 and 2010.

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