In the future, when football fans play the Madden NFL or NCAA Football video game series, they'll see the face and hear the voice of referee Clete Blakeman.
It's the first time an identifiable referee has been chosen for either of the popular EA Sports series, which have been played by millions on PlayStation and Xbox.
Blakeman, an attorney in Omaha, can thank another Nebraskan for being featured — Jeff Luhr, who hails from Osmond.
Luhr, who currently lives and works in the Orlando, Fla., area, made the arrangements to have Blakeman featured.
Growing up, Luhr said, he remembered Blakeman as a quarterback for Nebraska and followed his career as an official in college football and, more recently, in the NFL.
Luhr said it isn't certain yet whether Blakeman will be featured in next year's games, which will be Madden 13 or NCAA Football 13. Both come out in the summer of 2012.
"It will definitely will be in (the games) at some point," Luhr said. "Both are considerations."
Luhr is the creative director for NCAA Football, as well as creative director for the Core Football Gameplay team, which serves NCAA Football and Madden NFL.
Luhr grew up in Osmond and has been working at EA Sports since 1997, having attended Nebraska.
Blakeman, a Norfolk native, declined to be interviewed for this story as per league rules, because the NFL season is under way.
Luhr said Blakeman traveled to Orlando where he did some motion capture work and photo shoots.
With Blakeman having recently been an official with the Big 12 and currently an NFL official, his face and voice will be familiar to both college and pro fans, Luhr said.
Nebraskans already have seen Blakeman on TV. As the referee wearing the white hat, he makes the calls to the stadium and TV audience, including when plays are reviewed by instant replay.
Luhr said he grew up playing a lot of video games. He was attending NU from 1994 to 1997 when EA Sports had a national tournament with its college football game.
Luhr said he and a partner won the campus tournament, qualified for the national tournament at the Sugar Bowl, and were flown to New Orleans in January 1997.
They ended up winning that tournament as well. As the winner, Luhr also received an offer to intern as a game tester in 1997.
Naturally he took it, calling it a "dream job."