Sprinkle played one-year of six-man football at Tuscola before going to Hardin-Simmons. He played three seasons at HSU before the school dropped sports because of World War II. Sprinkle joined the Navy and received an appointment to the Naval Academy, where he played football in 1943. After the war, he signed with the Chicago Bears, playing two years at guard and the next 10 years as offensive and defensive end. He played in the first Pro Bowl in 1951 and made the team every year except 1954 when he was injured. Former Bears coach George Halas called Sprinkle the toughest player he ever coached. He is a member of the Helms Foundation Hall of Fame for professional football, the Chicago Hall of Fame and the Hardin-Simmons Hall of Fame.