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Devin Hester named Hall of Fame semifinalist


Former Bears star Devin Hester on Tuesday was named one of 28 modern-era semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2023.

Hester was selected as one of 15 finalists in his first year of eligibility last year, but he was not chosen as part of the Class of 2022.

Hester played eight of his 11 NFL seasons with the Bears. The most prolific return specialist in league history, he holds NFL records with 19 kick-return touchdowns, 14 punt-return TDs and 20 return touchdowns, which includes punts, kickoffs, missed field goals, fumbles and interceptions.

Selected by the Bears in the second round of the 2006 draft out of Miami, Hester was voted to three Pro Bowls, won 13 special teams player of the week awards and was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 2000s.

The 28 semifinalists will be pared down to 15 finalists in January. The Hall of Fame's 49-person Selection Committee will then reduce the list to 10 and then to five. Each of the remaining five will be voted on, with an 80 percent "yes" vote required for enshrinement—as is also the case for coach/contributor candidate Don Coryell and senior finalists Chuck Howley, Joe Klecko and Ken Riley.

The Hall of Fame Class of 2023 will be announced live Feb. 9 on the "NFL Honors" telecast prior to Super Bowl LVII. The class will then be enshrined in August in Canton, Ohio.

The Bears have 30 individuals inducted in the Hall of Fame, the most of any NFL team.

Here's a list of the 28 modern-era semifinalists:

Eric Allen, cornerback
Jared Allen, defensive end
Willie Anderson, offensive tackle
Ronde Barber, cornerback
Anquan Boldin, wide receiver
Henry Ellard, wide receiver
Jahri Evans, offensive guard
London Fletcher, linebacker
Dwight Freeney, defensive end
James Harrison, linebacker
Rodney Harrison, safety
Devin Hester, kick returner/wide receiver
Torry Holt, wide receiver
Andre Johnson, wide receiver
Albert Lewis, cornerback
Robert Mathis, defensive end/linebacker
Darrelle Revis, cornerback
Steve Smith Sr., wide receiver
Fred Taylor, running back
Joe Thomas, offensive tackle
Zach Thomas, linebacker
Hines Ward, wide receiver
DeMarcus Ware, linebacker/defensive end
Ricky Watters, running back
Reggie Wayne, wide receiver
Vince Wilfork, defensive tackle
Patrick Willis, linebacker
Darren Woodson, safety

Take a look at each of the 32 players in franchise history to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the most of any team in the NFL.