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News39 officials are on the NFL Officiating Development Program roster

39 officials are on the NFL Officiating Development Program roster

Football Zebras has learned most of the officials that will make up this year’s development roster. The Officiating Development Program began in 2013 as a way to give certain college officials advanced training by working in NFL training camps and preseason games. Initially, the program had 21 officials, but has since expanded to 30, and also includes officials from the Canadian Football League. The NFL also sends some officials to the CFL to work some additional games.

This season, there are 35 college officials and 4 CFL officials in the program. This post has been updated from the 27 officials previously confirmed.

The college officials in the development pool are eligible to be hired by the NFL. Since the development program began, every new NFL official was in the development program for at least one season and, with one exception, also in the season prior to being hired.

This preseason, there are no officials that have been in the development program roster for more than 3 years, with the exception of two officials that worked in a separate development program geared towards former NFL players. There are three women in the program, down from the all-time high of 4 last season.

The positions listed below are those where an official worked an NFL preseason game or a college all-star game; all others are listed as training on the line of scrimmage (L), downfield (D), umpire (U), or referee (R). Uniform numbers are shown for officials who have worked a prior season in the development program.

      ODP seasons Conference
(L)   Cravonne Barrett 1 Pac-12
(D)   Grantis Bell 1 SEC
SJ   Joe Blubaugh 1 Big 12
FJ   Wes Booker 1 SEC
(L)   Sebrina Brunson 1 Southwestern Athletic
R (R/D) 137 James Carter 2 SEC
(L)   Max Causey 1 Conference USA
(R/L)    Brandon Cruse 1 Big 12
(D)    Raymond Daniel 1 Big Ten
(L) 138 Robin DeLorenzo 2 Conference USA
(L)   Michael Dolce 1 Big Ten
LJ 140 Tom Eaton 1 Conference USA
(U) 141 Ed Feaster 2 Big Ten
(D)   Anthony Flemming 1 Big 12
(D)   Glen Fucik 1 SEC
(D)    Martin Hankins 1 SEC
R (R/D)   Jeff Heaser 1 ACC
DJ 163 Patrick Holt 1 Big Ten
(D)    Jacques Hooper 1 ACC
SJ 142 Nate Jones 5** Conference USA
U 148 Terry Killens 5** American Athletic
(L)    Frank LeBlanc 1 Big 12
(L)   Chad Lorance 1 SEC
(D) 153 LaShell Nelson 3 Conference USA
FJ 154 Justin Nelson 2 Pac-12
(D)    Maurice Pierre 1 Conference USA
SJ 151 Clay Reynard 3 Pac-12
157 Robert Richeson 1 Big 12
BJ 158 Jimmy Russell 2 SEC
(R/L) 160 Adam Savoie 2 American Athletic
U 161 Tab Slaughter 3 Big 12
SJ 164 Frank Steratore 3 Big Ten
LJ   Tripp Sutter 1 Big Ten
(U)    William Thomas 3** American Athletic
(D)   Lo Van Pham 1 Big 12
FJ 170  Dave Hawkshaw 3 🇨🇦 CFL
(D)   Ritchie Miller 1 🇨🇦 CFL
(D)   Rob Skaggs 1 🇨🇦 CFL
(D)   Tom Vallesi 1 🇨🇦 CFL

**-indicate 2 seasons in officiating development program for former NFL players. Nonconsecutive seasons (Reynard was in the development program 2012-13).

Frank Steratore is a cousin of Tony and the recently retired Gene. Tab Slaughter is the son of Gary, a retired head linesman and regional officiating supervisor.

The number of program participants by college conference:

  • 7 — Big 12
  • 7 — SEC
  • 6 — Big Ten
  • 6 — Conference USA
  • 3 — American Athletic
  • 3 — Pac-12
  • 2 — ACC
  • 1 — SWAC
Ben Austro
Ben Austro
Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

4 thoughts on “39 officials are on the NFL Officiating Development Program roster

  1. The CFL participants are there by a special arrangement between both leagues. While it’s technically possible, it is very unlikely that a Canadian official is in the pool for an NFL job

  2. 39 officials???? Do we really need that many in the program? most won’t get hired and most won’t even work a preseason game. Do we really need these EEO officials? We already have one blonde female official who is awful and she is making it harder for women to get a serious look at future openings.

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