The NFL roster of game officials for the 2014 season will include 13 first-year NFL officials -- and three new referees -- among the group of 119, the league announced Thursday.
First-year official Brad Allen will join the NFL as a referee from the Atlantic Coast Conference, where he has been a referee for the past nine seasons and was regarded as one of the best in college football. Allen has refereed several major bowl games, including the 2012 Rose Bowl and 2014 Sugar Bowl. Allen replaces veteran referee Mike Carey, who will join CBS Sports as a rules analyst.
The 13 first-year NFL officials are all graduates of the NFL Officiating Development program, which is designed to train top college football officials in all aspects of NFL officiating. They include: Brad Allen, Brad Freeman, Eugene Hall, Shawn Hochuli, John Jenkins, Alex Kemp, Rich Martinez, Bryan Neale, Scott Novak, Steve Patrick, Mark Pellis, Patrick Turner and Ed Walker.
"Our first-year officials were all among the best in college football, including Brad Allen, one of our new referees," said NFL Vice president of officiating Dean Blandino. "Brad was an outstanding referee for many years in the ACC and we are excited about having him on the field. Ron and Craig have proven to be outstanding NFL officials and they also are ready to assume the referee position."