Gale Sayers says Devin Hester is Hall of Fame material
Devin Hester became the NFL’s all-time leader in combined returns for touchdown this season when he took three punt returns to the end zone to give him 14 career scores, one more than previous record holder Brian Mitchell.
One of the most electric returners in league history believes that should be enough to eventually land Hester in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Gale Sayers, the youngest player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame at age 34 in 1977, said he believes Hester is Hall-worthy.
“Devin Hester deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, no question about it. He has a chance to get there. And more than likely, he probably will," Sayers told Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune.
"I think I was probably the first (Hall of Fame) running back to return punts and kickoffs and run from the line of scrimmage," Sayers said. "I had a good career rushing with the football, too, and scoring touchdowns (22 as a rookie). (Hester) is only doing kick returns (although he is also a wide receiver) and he is having a hell of a career. No doubt, he will probably go into the Hall of Fame."
It’s likely that Hester will need to strengthen his resume moving forward. If he can shatter the previous records, it will enhance his chances. Billy “White Shoes” Johnson said he doesn’t see why Hester can’t top 20 return touchdowns for his career.
Keep in mind that specialists have had an especially difficult time gaining entry to the Hall. Punter Ray Guy remains on the outside looking in. Only one true kicker – Jan Stenerud – has been inducted.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune