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Doak Walker Award watch list highlighted by 2016 semifinalists Barkley and Pettway

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A watch list of the top running backs in the nation has been released by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum on Thursday. The Doak Walker Award watch list is full of great players, including 2016 Doak Walker Award semifinalists Saquon Barkley (Penn State) and Kamryn Pettway (Auburn).

Among those included on this year’s initial Doak Walker Award watch list (more players can be added at any time) are LSU’s Derrius Guice, Georgia’s Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, LJ Scott of Michigan State, Mike Weber of Ohio State, and Bo Scarbrough of Alabama, Washington’s Myles Gaskin, and Western Michigan’s Jarvion Franklin.

D’Onta Foreman of Texas beat out both Barkley and Pettway last season for the award. The Doak Walker Award has been presented to the nation’s top running back annually since 1990. Among the winners over the years have included Ricky Williams, LaDainian Tomlinson, Reggie Bush, and Montee Ball.

To be included on this watch list, the university athletic department must submit a nomination.

2017 Doak Walker Award Watch List

Josh Adams, Notre Dame
Ryquell Armstead, Temple
Kalen Ballage, Arizona State
Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Alex Barnes, Kansas State
Jamauri Bogan, Western Michigan
D’Angelo Brewer, Tulsa
Nick Chubb, Georgia
Jordan Chunn, Troy
Justin Crawford, West Virginia
Damarea Crockett, Missouri
Rico Dowdle, South Carolina
D’Andre Ferby, WKU
Kendrick Foster, Illinois
Jarvion Franklin, Western Michigan
Myles Gaskin, Washington
James Gilbert, Ball State
Derrius Guice, LSU
Damien Harris, Alabama
Kyle Hicks, TCU
Justice Hill, Oklahoma State
Jon Hilliman, Boston College
Justin Jackson, Northwestern
Chris James, Wisconsin
Ty Johnson, Maryland
Ronald Jones II, USC
Ray Lawry, Old Dominion
Phillip Lindsay, Colorado
Tonny Lindsey Jr., Utah State
Bryce Love, Stanford
Sony Michel, Georgia
Dedrick Mills, Georgia Tech
David Montgomery, Iowa State
Jamal Morrow, Washington State
Ryan Nall, Oregon State
Jacques Patrick, Florida State
Kamryn Pettway, Auburn
Demario Richard, Arizona State
Diocemy Saint Juste, Hawaii
Bo Scarbrough, Alabama
Jordan Scarlett, Florida
LJ Scott, Michigan State
Bradrick Shaw, Wisconsin
Armand Shyne, Utah
Justin Silmon, Kansas State
Ito Smith, Southern Miss
Rodney Smith, Minnesota
Benny Snell Jr., Kentucky
Terry Swanson, Toledo
Shaq Vann, Eastern Michigan
Akrum Wadley, Iowa
Mark Walton, Miami
Warren Wand, Arkansas State
Tre Watson, California
Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt
Mike Weber, Ohio State
Braeden West, SMU
Devwah Whaley, Arkansas
Aeris Williams, Mississippi State
Shaun Wilson, Duke
Marquis Young, Massachusetts

Syracuse pair arrested for boosting two pairs of Yeezy boots

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They say things happen in threes, and Jeremy Sprinkle now has company. The Arkansas tight end who missed the Belk Bowl after shoplifting from the very store that sponsored the game was joined on the jurisprudence pages by a pair of Syracuse players earlier this week.

According to the Syracuse Police Department, Orange tight end Jaquwan Nelson and safety Devon Clarke were arrested Thursday for stealing two pairs of Yeezy boots, a laptop computer and a PlayStation 4. Yeezys are boots designed by rapper Kanye West that cost in the range of $650.

Nelson was charged with second-degree burglary and fourth-degree grand larceny, while Clarke was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property in addition to second-degree burglary, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.

The arrests stemmed from an incident originally reported the day after Christmas.

Both Nelson and Clarke redshirted as freshmen in 2016. Nelson was a three-star recruit from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Clarke was a three-star prospect hailing from Kissimmee, Fla.

Syracuse has not offered public comment on the arrests as of press time.

Arkansas going hog wild on Hokies in Belk Bowl with 24-0 halftime lead

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Few teams in college football have been quite as puzzling to figure out on a week-by-week basis as Arkansas. after one half in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina, it appears the good Razorbacks have shown up against Virginia Tech. Arkansas leads the Hokies 24-0 at halftime of the Belk Bowl.

Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen has thrown for 170 yards and two touchdowns, including one that was the result of an overturned call following an instant replay review in the second quarter to put the Hogs up 24-0 (Keon Hatcher caught the ball near the goal line and was credited with a score following a review).

Virginia Tech has been unable to get anything going on the ground against an Arkansas team that has struggled to stop the run all season long, and it was on the wrong foot right from the first snap of the game. Sam Rogers fumbled away the football to Arkansas on Virginia Tech’s first play of the game, setting the Razorbacks up at the Hokies’ 26-yard line. Arkansas was held to a field goal as the Virginia Tech defense came to the rescue. The Hokies turned the ball over on downs on their next possession when Jerod Evans was sacked by JaMichael Winston and Jeremiah Ledbetter. Evans was intercepted two possessions later, leading to an Arkansas touchdown town plays later.

There was a bit of an officiating meltdown toward the end of the first half on a muffed punt by Virginia Tech. Arkansas, despite never having control of the football during this sequence, was awarded the football following a penalty by Virginia Tech and multiple meetings between the Big 12 officiating crew and separate tongue-lashings by both head coaches Bret Bielema and Justin Fuente.

The Razorbacks are without tight end Jeremy Sprinkle. Sprinkle was suspended after reportedly shoplifting from a Belk department store, despite the Belk Bowl giving players a Belk gift card to spend.

Report: Arkansas TE’s Belk Bowl suspension stemmed from attempted shoplifting… at a Belk department store

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The irony is deep and thick with this one.

Just a short time ago, Arkansas announced that starting tight end Jeremy Sprinkle had been suspended for tonight’s Belk Bowl matchup with Virginia Tech for conduct detrimental to the team.  Subsequent to that announcement, Jason Kersey of SEC Country reported that the suspension stemmed from Sprinkle allegedly attempting to shoplift from a retail outlet in Charlotte.

The retail outlet?  A Belk department store, the title sponsor of the game from which Sprinkle was suspended.

From Kersey’s report:

Sprinkle was accused of attempting to shoplift items at the Belk department store at the SouthPark Mall in Charlotte on Wednesday, sources said. The Arkansas team was there as part of a function for the bowl.

Each player on both teams had 90 minutes to spend a $450 gift card at Belk on anything in the store. The players also each received a Fossil watch. Sources said Sprinkle attempted to take items worth more than the allotted cost available.

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Sprinkle was not charged in connection to the incident, but the suspension means that the senior’s collegiate career has come to an end.

Arkansas suspends top TE for Belk Bowl game vs. Virginia Tech

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Quarterback Austin Allen will have one less weapon in the passing game at his disposal when Arkansas takes the field later on Thursday.

In a press release, Bret Bielema announced that Jeremy Sprinkle has been suspended and will not play in tonight’s Belk Bowl matchup with Virginia Tech.  The head coach cited “conduct detrimental to the team” as the reason behind the punitive measure, although he did add that the “suspension isn’t drug, alcohol or violence related.”

As this is the tight end’s last season of eligibility, it ends his collegiate playing career.

“Jeremy’s suspension has been known by our staff and players for several days so we’ve had a chance to prepare our game plan accordingly,” a statement from Bielema began. “Throughout his career and this season as a graduate student-athlete, Jeremy has displayed numerous times the qualities we want to represent our program. We have standards within our family that must be upheld on a daily basis and unfortunately he failed to do that in the last week.”

This season, Sprinkle was third on the team with 33 receptions. His four receiving touchdowns tied for second on the Razorbacks, while his 380 yards receiving were fourth.