CANTON, OH – One of the most electrifying players in the history of the Chicago Bears franchise has taken a step closer towards the greatest honor that can be bestowed upon an individual player in professional football.

BREAKING: 7 first-year eligible players are among the list of 26 Modern-Era Player Semifinalists for the Class of 2022.

More on the semifinalists:

— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) November 24, 2021

On Wednesday, former Bears kick returner and wide receiver Devin Hester was named as one of 26 modern-era player semifinalists for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022. It comes in his first year of eligibility to be named to the Hall of Fame.

The list of semifinalists will be trimmed to 15 finalists and then the Class of 2022 will be revealed on the NFL Honors show on February 10th ahead of Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. Anywhere from four-to-eight new members of the modern-era semifinalists will be selected.

Arguably the greatest kick returner in the history of the NFL, Hester holds the NFL record for punt return touchdowns (14) and overall kick return touchdowns (19). All but one of those came with the Bears, whom he was drafted by in 2006 and played with through the 2013 season.

Hester was named a first-team All-Pro three times in Chicago while also making four Pro Bowl appearances as a returner. He was also named to the 2000s and 2010s NFL All-Decade team along with the league’s 100th Anniversary squad.

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