Devin Hester is known as one of the greatest returners of all time. He’s made big plays over his career, such as opening Super Bowl XLII with a kick return for a touchdown. Hester holds the record for most kickoff and punt return touchdowns in a season, most career punt returns for a touchdown and most career returns for a touchdown (kickoff and punt combined).
He also leads in every statistical category for punt and kickoff returns (except career kickoff returns for a touchdown) for the Chicago Bears. Hester is a four-time Pro-Bowler and All-Pro. He has the accolades for a future Hall of Fame player, but is that enough to put him in Canton?
Devin Hester was drafted 57th overall by the Chicago Bears as a cornerback in the 2006 draft. He soon converted into a wide receiver but still did not find much success. Hester’s best season as a receiver came in 2009 where he had 57 receptions, 757 receiving yards, and 3 touchdowns. However, he made up for his struggles at wide receiver with his success has a return specialist.
He was known as a fast returner who could find the right holes in a return. Hester ran a 4.41 in the NFL Combine, but looked much faster on the field. With his quick cuts and burst of speed, he ran into the hearts of millions of Bears fans and has been a fan favorite ever since. Hester retired from the NFL in 2018 and with that, ended his illustrious 10-year career.
He found a niche in the league he was good at and made a career out of it. He maintained longevity through a grueling sport that has an average career length being 3 years. Throughout his career, he maintained a high level of play and always gave his team a chance to put points on the board. He was an exhilarating player to watch and has a name that when thought of, is always associated with greatness.
Devin Hester deserves a spot in Canton, Ohio. It’s that simple; he has the memorable returns, the statistics, and is known as one of if not the greatest returners of all time. Hester is eligible to be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2022 and should be expecting an invitation soon.
Hall of Famer? Yes.