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Urlacher named a HOF semifinalist


Former Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher has been selected as one of 27 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2018.

Urlacher is one of six first-year eligible candidates, joining cornerback Ronde Barber, guard Steve Hutchinson, middle linebacker Ray Lewis, receiver Randy Moss and defensive lineman Richard Seymour.

Photos from Brian Urlacher's 13-year career in the NFL with the Chicago Bears.

The list of semifinalists was reduced from an initial group of 108 nominees. It will be pared down to 15 finalists in January.

Urlacher played his entire 13-year NFL career with the Bears after being selected with the ninth pick in the 2000 draft out of New Mexico. Fueled by a rare combination of size, speed and toughness, he was voted to eight Pro Bowls, was named NFL Rookie of the Year in 2000 and was selected NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2005.

Urlacher was a four-time All-Pro who helped the Bears win four division titles and reach the Super Bowl in 2006. He started 180 of 182 games played with the Bears, recording 1,779 tackles, 41.5 sacks, 22 interceptions, 16 fumble recoveries and 11 forced fumbles. The only players who've started more games for the team are Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton (184) and center Olin Kreutz (183).

The 15 finalists will be joined by senior finalists Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer and contributor finalist Bobby Beathard.

The Selection Committee will meet in Minneapolis on Feb. 3, 2018, the night before the Super Bowl, and elect 4-8 new members of the Hall of Fame. The Class of 2018 will be enshrined next August.

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