CANTON, OHIO – For a second-straight year, the electric kick & punt returner who spent most of his NFL career in Chicago is getting closer and closer to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

On Tuesday, Devin Hester was named one of 28 modern-era semifinalists for enshrinement in Canton as part of the Class of 2023. It’s the second straight year that he’s reached this point in the voting, having been a finalist last year.

These players were picked from the initial 129 that were selected as nominees back in September, which included Hester and eight other players who spent time with the Bears. After this round, only the returner and defensive end Jared Allen, who played in Chicago in 2014 and part of 2015, were picked as semifinalists.

This list will eventually be trimmed to 15 finalists, with the members of the Class of 2023 being announced at the NFL Honors on February 9th ahead of Super Bowl LVII.

A second round pick of the Bears in 2006, Hester is the NFL’s all-time leader in overall return touchdowns (both kickoff and punt). He finished with 14 regular season punt return touchdowns in his career, all but one coming with the Bears, along with five kickoff return scores, all of which came in Chicago.

Hester also returned a missed field goal for a touchdown in Week 9 against the Giants in 2006 at the Meadowlands, bringing his regular season total for non-offensive touchdowns to 20.

On February 4, 2007, in one of the greatest plays in Bears’ history, Hester returned the opening kickoff of Super Bowl XLI against the Colts for a touchdown at Dolphins Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

He would play for the Bears from 2006-2013 before joining the Falcons for two seasons. Hester spent the 2016 campaign with both the Ravens and Seahawks before announcing his retirement in December 2017.