FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas senior tight end Jeremy Sprinkle was announced Wednesday as the recipient of the Garrett Uekman Foundation Scholarship.
The scholarship honors the life of former Razorback Garrett Uekman. All student-athletes at the university are eligible for the award with football players, tight ends and walk-ons receiving special preference.
“It’s a great honor,” Sprinkle said. “Uekamn was a good player here who had his career cut short. It was a tragedy. Just to be in that consideration and be awarded with it, it’s a great honor for me.
“He played tight end here, it’s tight end U. It’s a great tradition here. Like I said, it’s a great honor that they thought of me to give me that award and I’m happy for it.”
Sprinkle is widely considered one of the leading candidates for the John Mackey Award, given annually to the nation’s top tight end. Through two games this season, he has 6 catches for 77 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Uekman passed away unexpectedly during the 2011 season when he was a 19-year-old redshirt freshman tight end for the Razorbacks. A heart condition was later revealed to be the cause. He played in nine games during the 2011 season.
“Every football season, we relive the excitement and joy of seeing Garrett run out of the ‘A’ on the field,” said Garrett’s parents, Danny and Michelle Uekman through a release by the university. “It’s bittersweet now, but it warms our heart to see a fellow teammate, in a sense, run in his place. We could not be more proud that Jeremy Sprinkle is this year’s scholarship recipient. We’ll be cheering him on for sure.”
The scholarship is included in the 85 scholarship limit allowed by the NCAA.