Former Gator Gilbert reunites with Steelers’ Pouncey



The Steelers selected offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert in the second round, joining him with former UF teammate Maurkice Pouncey.

BY MIKE MCCALL

MIAMI HERALD WRITER


GAINESVILLE -- Marcus Gilbert will suit up at a different level of football in 2011, but he will have a familiar face on the line with him.

Gilbert, a product of Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, was taken in the second round of the NFL Draft on Friday, joining the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he again will play with center and former University of Florida teammate Maurkice Pouncey.

Gilbert was the second Florida player off the board (center Mike Pouncey went to the Dolphins at No. 15 in the first round), going at No. 63 overall in a pick that was announced by Steelers Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris.

“That is a typical Pittsburgh pick right there,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. “You can plug him in, he has tremendous size and athletic ability and can play either tackle. They need some youth and athleticism, and Gilbert provides that.”

Gilbert played at both tackle spots last season for Florida, where he started all 13 games.

He now will join a team that features five-time Pro Bowler Flozell Adams and Gators alumnus Max Starks, but because Adams and Starks are 35 and 29, respectively, an influx of youth was needed.

That’s where Gilbert comes in.

“When it comes to size and athleticism, he’s almost as impressive as any guy in this draft,” said Scott Wright, founder and analyst for DraftCountdown.com. “He’s 6-foot-6, 330 pounds, and he moves well. I think he can play left tackle in the NFL. …

“To me, he’s definitely a starter. It seemed like late in the process, he started moving up draft boards to be considered a second- or third-rounder.”


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