ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Former Tennessee offensive lineman Mack Crowder was arrested Tuesday night on five third-degree felony charges after allegedly trying to entice a 14-year-old girl to have sex with him.
Pinellas County Sheriff's officials charged Crowder, 23, with four counts of transmission of material harmful to minors and one count of violating Florida's Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act.
Investigators say Crowder engaged in an online conversation with someone he thought was a teenage girl beginning Jan. 21. Instead he was communicating with Pinellas County Sheriff's detectives working as part of "Operation Wayfarer," which targets men who are using the Internet to find underage females for sex.
According to investigators, Crowder sent four inappropriate photos and solicited "the minor" to engage in sex acts with him. Deputies arrested him Tuesday after he arranged to meet the teen near St. Petersburg.
Crowder told investigators he sent the photos and that he thought he was communicating with a teenager.
He was released on $50,000 bond. Jail records didn't list an attorney for Crowder.
Crowder, who played five seasons at Tennessee, appeared in 11 games last season, making three starts at center and guard. He previously served as the Vols' starting center in 2014.
He was named to the Southeastern Conference academic honor roll in 2014 and 2015.
Tennessee athletic department spokesman Ryan Robinson said the school had no comment on Crowder's arrest.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.