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.
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.
|SJ||Joe Blubaugh||1||Big 12|
|(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|
|R (R/D)||Jeff Heaser||1||ACC|
|DJ||163||Patrick Holt||1||Big Ten|
|SJ||142||Nate Jones||5**||Conference USA|
|U||148||Terry Killens||5**||American Athletic|
|(L)||Frank LeBlanc||1||Big 12|
|(D)||153||LaShell Nelson||3||Conference USA|
|(D)||Maurice Pierre||1||Conference USA|
|U||157||Robert Richeson||1||Big 12|
|(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