Former Arkansas Razorbacks tight end Jeremy Sprinkle is looking forward to the opportunity to speak with NFL teams about the shoplifting incident that resulted in his suspension for the Belk Bowl last month.
Speaking to SEC Country’s Andrew Astleford in an exclusive interview, Sprinkle admitted that during a Belk Bowl-sponsored shopping spree at a Charlotte, N.C., Belk store, he was walking to check out when he decided to shove extra items into his shopping bags.
“Just being too greedy (with) what I already had and trying to get more,” Sprinkle said.
Sprinkle spoke with Astleford in Mobile, Ala., where Sprinkle is preparing to play in the Senior Bowl on Saturday.
Sprinkle — from White Hall, Ark. — caught 33 passes and 4 touchdowns during his senior season. He had been bothered by an ankle injury for much of the season and had expressed excitement about playing healthy in the Belk Bowl.
Then, the incident.
The Belk Bowl gave players from both Arkansas and Virginia Tech a $450 Belk gift card and 90 minutes to spend it in the store. The players also received a Fossil watch.
Charlotte Police cited Sprinkle for unlawful concealment.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema suspended Sprinkle for the final game of his college career, and the Razorbacks lost 35-24 to Virginia Tech.
“It was extremely hard not being out there with my guys and being able to play with them,” Sprinkle said. “I just learned that you have to act the same, whether somebody is watching or not watching. Just always be who you are.”
Asked if any NFL scouts or coaches have asked him about the incident, Sprinkle said, “I haven’t really talked to any teams about it yet. But I’m looking forward to that, to getting my story right.”
For his career, Sprinkle caught 71 passes for 921 yards and 11 touchdowns. His senior season was his first as a starter; he backed up John Mackey Award winner Hunter Henry before that.