GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Former Gator Great Maurkice Pouncey (Lakeland, Fla.) was selected to the 2011 NFL Pro Bowl roster by the league on Monday. The center was the only offensive rookie selected for the game, and is one of three players from the Pittsburgh Steelers of the AFC who will attend the Pro Bowl.
Pouncey, who last season became the first Gator in history to win the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s best center, is the 20th former Gator to earn a spot on a Pro Bowl roster. He is the first Gator to make the roster as a center, while joining former Gator legend and seven-time Pro Bowler Lomas Brown as the only two UF offensive linemen to be selected to the game. Pouncey joins Cris Collinsworth, 1999 Defensive Rookie of the Year Jevon Kearse, Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith and last year’s NFL Offensive Rookie the Year Percy Harvin as Gators who made the Pro Bowl in their rookie season. This marks the second-straight year an Urban Meyer coached player has made the Pro Bowl.
Pouncey, who is the first Steelers’ rookie to be selected for the Pro Bowl since Kendrell Bell in 2001, is the first Pittsburgh lineman to be named to the roster since tackle Frank Varrichione was selected in 1955. Pouncey is also the first Steelers’ rookie to start every game since Varrichione that same year. Since 1978, the Steelers’ organization has had a center selected for the Pro Bowl 19 times.
The annual contest between the AFC's and NFC's best will take place on Sunday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. ET at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, and will be broadcast on Fox.