The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the 122 modern-era nominees for enshrinement in the Class of ’22, but one name stands out among the rest.
Devin Devorris Hester, a Chicago Bears legend for his excellence as a return specialist, is up for Hall of Fame nomination.
And why wouldn’t he be?
⇒ 19 total return touchdowns (14 punts, 5 kicks)
⇒ 1 missed field goal returned for a touchdown
⇒ Ranking first in punt return touchdowns and non-offensive scores at the time of his retirement
⇒ Four Pro Bowl appearances
⇒ Three first-team All-Pro nominations
Having a résumé like that should be enough. But when you throw in the breath-taking highlights, explore how his presence made opposing coaches tweak their game plans in multiple facets, and mention how Hester’s dominance in the return game helped push the NFL to change up the rules, his entrance into the Hall of Fame should be only a matter of time. But why wait? No need to hesitate. Hester is first-ballot Hall of Fame worthy.
As for the rest of the nominees, here you go:
BREAKING: The Modern-Era nominees for the Class of 2022 have been unveiled. The list is comprised of 122 players. Among the group are 10 first-year eligible players.
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) September 22, 2021
Another class loaded with Hall of Fame worthy candidates. Other first-year eligible players include receivers Steve Smith, Ande Johnson, and Anquan Boldin, offensive linemen Jake Long and Nick Mangold, pass-rushers DeMarcus Ware and Robert Mathis, nose tackle Vince Wilfork, and ballhawk cornerback Antonio Cromartie. The likes of Steve McNair, Reggie Wayne, Torry Holt, Tony Boselli, Ronde Barber, LeRoy Butler, and others are still up for consideration. As are retired Bears Olin Kreutz, Charles Tillman, and Lance Briggs.
In other words, it’s a crowd of players deserving to get in. But Devin Hester, who was like poetry with the ball in his hands, stands out above the rest.