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30 officials audition for NFL positions

30 amateur officials get the chance to audition for a permanent spot on the NFL roster.



Photo from Getty Images


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:

    Name  Yrs   Conference/league
    James Carter 1       SEC
DJ 136 Maia Chaka  4   Conference USA
SJ 139 Land Clark 2   Pac-12
    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
    Chad Hill 1   SEC
FJ   Anthony Jeffries 1   SEC
    Joe Johnston 1   Pac-12
SJ   Nate Jones 4**   Conference USA
FJ 146 Tony Josselyn 2   SEC
    Jacob Kemp 2   Mid American
    Terry Killens 4**   American Athletic
FJ   Justin Larrew 2   Conference USA
LJ 144 Kevin Mar 4   Pac-12
U 152 Mike Morton 3*   ACC
FJ   Justin Nelson 2   Pac-12
    LaShell Nelson 2   Conference USA
    Robert Richeson 1   Big 12
BJ   Jimmy Russell 1   SEC
    Amanda Sauer 1   Mid American
    Adam Savoie 1   American Athletic
U   Tab Slaughter 2   Big 12
U 150 Chris Snead 3   SEC
SJ 164 Frank Steratore 2   Big Ten
    Mark Stewart 2   Big 12
SJ 166 Don Willard 2   Big Ten
MJ   Brian Chrupalo 1  🇨🇦 CFL
SJ 167 Dave Foxcroft 2  🇨🇦 CFL
MJ   Rob Hand 1  🇨🇦 CFL
FJ 170 Dave Hawkshaw 2  🇨🇦 CFL
MJ   Jason Maggio 1  🇨🇦 CFL
LJ 168 Justin McInnes 2  🇨🇦 CFL

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)

Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"