There have been some change made to the officiating ranks in the NFL in 2018. In short, the Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, and SEC will need to find new officials for the fall.
That’s because per ESPN, the league has hired seven new officials from those conferences ahead of the upcoming season. Land Clark (Pac-12), Matt Edwards (Big Ten), Don Willard (Big Ten), and Anthony Jeffries (SEC) have been added as field judges. Chad Hill (SEC) was added as side judge. Tony Josselyn (SEC) was added as a back judge, and Mark Stewart (Big 12) was added as a line judge.
Additionally, the NFL has also promoted four men — Shawn Hochuli, Alex Kemp, Clay Martin, and Shawn Smith — to referee. All of those men have been referees in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the highest level of college football.
The NFL isn’t used to such a high turnover rate, however. But new blood can be a good thing as the game seems to be getting faster. Younger officials may be needed. However, for the playoffs, it may become a sticky situation. That’s because first-year referees aren’t eligible for the NFL playoffs. That means less of a pool to choose from for the NFL.
Will the league be able to cope?