The NFL has released the names of 30 officials taking part in the 2017 Officiating Development Program. These officials work NFL training camp and preseason games. They then return to officiate in college. The officials are considered finalists once a spot on the roster opens up.
In addition, six CFL officials are taking part in the program.
The ODP officials are not part of the officials’ union and they cannot be hired mid-season to replace an injured official.
The following are the officials for the 2017 ODP program with ODP position, number (if known), years in the program and college conference they officiate in:
|DJ||136||Maia Chaka||4||Conference USA|
|Robin DeLorenzo||1||Conference USA|
|LJ||Tom Eaton||1||Conference USA|
|Ed Feaster||1||Big Ten|
|U||145||Marlow Fitzgerald||3||Mountain West|
|Daniel Gautreaux||2||Conference USA|
|LJ||Quentin Givens||3||Big 12|
|SJ||Nate Jones||4**||Conference USA|
|Jacob Kemp||2||Mid American|
|Terry Killens||4**||American Athletic|
|FJ||Justin Larrew||2||Conference USA|
|LaShell Nelson||2||Conference USA|
|Robert Richeson||1||Big 12|
|Amanda Sauer||1||Mid American|
|Adam Savoie||1||American Athletic|
|U||Tab Slaughter||2||Big 12|
|SJ||164||Frank Steratore||2||Big Ten|
|Mark Stewart||2||Big 12|
|SJ||166||Don Willard||2||Big Ten|
Former NFL players have been recruited under the Fast Track Officiating program (2012-2013) and Legends Officiating Development Program (2014-present). The number of development seasons includes those programs: *one season under FTO or LODP, **two seasons under FTO or LODP.
Four officials (Chaka, DeLorenzo, LaShell Nelson and Sauer) are women, a record number for the ODP. Four officials have relatives in the NFL. Justin Larrew is the son of Joe Larrew. Jacob Kemp is the brother of Alex and the son of the late Stan Kemp. Frank Steratore is the cousin of Gene and Tony, and Tab Slaughter is the son of the retired Gary Slaughter.
Also of note, Stewart and Richardson worked the National Championship game between Clemson and Alabama in January, Steratore worked the semifinal game at the Peach Bowl, and Hill officiated in the Orange Bowl.
Best wishes to the ODP officials and hopefully we’ll see them all added to the full-time roster in the coming years.
Cover photo: Amanda Sauer (ESPN)
Above photo: Land Clark (Getty Images)