LAKELAND, Fla. — Lakeland legends Maurkice and Mike Pouncey have officially retired after more than a decade in the NFL.
The twin brothers announced their exit from the league through their friend and former Steeler, Ramon Foster who posted their farewell notes to Twitter Friday.
"I'll always love the game of football and always be the ultimate competitor in life @nfl @steelers! I'm just not in love with the sacrifice football carries on my life, my beautiful daughters Jayda, Marley & my family," Maurkice wrote.
Both brothers expressed their gratitude to their respective organizations, teammates, fans and coaching staff.
"We began this journey at 6-years-old and now at 31 we will close this chapter of our lives as I announce my retirement from the @nfl and walk away from the game," Mike added.
Maurkice logged 11 years in the NFL after getting drafted as a center for the Steelers in 2010, while Mike put up 10 years as a center across both the Dolphins and Chargers organizations.
The duo played at the University of Florida together, but are a product of Lakeland, Florida. Setting records right here in the Tampa Bay area as kids.
"As I write this farewell speech I cry & I laugh that twin boys from Lakeland, FL, that grew up in poverty made it this far in life both living out NFL dreams," Maurkice added in his note.
The Pouncey twins attended Lakeland High where during their senior year they helped lead their team to its 45th consecutive victory, third-consecutive Class 5A State Championship and second-straight USA Today National Championship.
According to Maurkice's NFL bio, the brothers were part of an offensive line that blocked for a 4,000-yard rushing team one year.
Maurkice and Mike have done just about everything together and while they close this chapter of their story, they did not forget who helped push them along the way-- each other.
For future generations of football players striving to play on football's biggest stage, the Pouncey twins have some words of wisdom.
"For the next generation, dreams do come true but it takes a lot of sacrifice, dedication, education and hard work! No one is ever going to hand you anything in life," Maurkice said.
"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," Mike added.
Both ensured that the Team Pouncey Foundation will continue on even into their retirement.
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