NFL: Former Husker Clete Blakeman Will Officiate

Big Red NetworkSenior Writer IMay 12, 2008

It looks as though another Husker will be joining the NFL ranks this fall. Only this one wasn't drafted, and he didn't sign a free agent contract.

The newest NFL Husker is an official. Clete Blakeman got the call to be a side judge in the NFL. I'm just old enough to remember Blakeman as a player at NU.

Even for those who don't remember his days as a Husker, it is good to see a person make it to the top of his profession.

Blakeman played for NU in the mid 1980s, primarily in the 1987 season when he backed up Steve Taylor. As Taylor was a big-time star, Blakeman didn't play too much. He did, however, play capably in the games in which he filled in for Taylor.

It's hard to know how Blakeman would have performed in more action. Regardless, the Norfolk, Nebraska native gave his best to the squad. He is a member of the All-Name team.

Clete…for a football player? Come on, that’s funny.

Seriously, it is nice to read how he moved up the ranks of officials. Blakemen started with his dad's crew and worked high school games. He eventually got into college work. He worked the last four seasons as a lead official in the Big 12, and some very high profile games.

It paid off. Now the NFL is calling. Good for him.

I have friends who referee both football and basketball. It's not an easy gig. You have to work at it like any profession, get better, and pay your dues.

The best officials work a lot because they want to stay sharp. Apparently Blakeman is very sharp. Who knows? Maybe someday he could appear in a Super Bowl.


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