Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Twin brothers Maurkice and Mike Pouncey retired from the NFL on Friday.
Maurkice played 13 games last season for the Steelers. Mike was a member of the Los Angeles Chargers, but missed the season due to a hip injury. They both wore No. 53.
"I'll always love the game of football and always will be the ultimate competitor in life," Maurkice wrote in his statement. "'Big Ben' [Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger] is my brother for life. We ride together, we die together, bad boys for life!
"As I write this farewell speech, I cry and laugh that twin boys from Lakeland, Fla., that grew up in poverty, made it this far in life, both living out NFL dreams."
Maurkice entered the league as the No. 18 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. He spent his entire 10-year NFL career with the Steelers. The 6-foot-4, 304-pound center was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and a two-time All-Pro.
"I don't have the words," Roethlisberger tweeted Friday, in response to Maurkice's retirement. "I love you and thank you."
Mike entered the league as the No. 15 overall pick by the Miami Dolphins in the 2011 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-5, 298-pound center spent seven seasons with the Dolphins. The four-time Pro Bowl selection signed with the Chargers in 2018.
"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 wrote in his statement. "I am thankful for everything football has taught me and everywhere it has taken me!
"Dream big kids, because they do come true, not because you dreamt it and think it's just going to happen, but because you work as hard as you can toward it and make it happen! Never be afraid to make a mistake. Learn from them and fix it!"
The Pouncey twins attended the University of Florida, where they played for coach Urban Meyer. Maurkice won two national championships with the Gators.