Oct 29, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Former Carolina Panthers great Julius Peppers is honored on the field before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Former Bears Devin Hester, Julius Peppers part of seven-member Class of 2024

A trio of former Chicago Bears players were among seven players to be selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024, the NFL announced Thursday night.

Devin Hester, Julius Peppers and Steve McMichael each will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, this summer. They will join four others: longtime Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney, Houston Texans wideout Andre Johnson, Denver Broncos linebacker Randy Gradishar and San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis.

McMichael and Gradishar were senior selections, while the other five were part of the modern class.

The Hall of Fame is filled almost entirely with offensive and defensive stars, but Hester got the nod for his achievements on special teams. He holds the NFL record with 20 overall return touchdowns, as well as the league record with 14 punt return TDs.

Hester’s highlights included returning the opening kickoff of Super Bowl XLI for a touchdown against Indianapolis. He also caught 255 passes for 3,311 yards and 16 touchdowns during his career.

“Devin revolutionized the game,” Bears chairman George McCaskey said. “No one had seen anything like him, and there hasn’t been anyone like him since. He had opposing head coaches telling their special teams coordinators, ‘Don’t kick to that guy,’ and they suffered the consequences when the message didn’t get through. We’re delighted that the Hall has recognized Devin’s special talents.”

Johnson also stood apart with his ability to find the end zone. The Texans’ first-round pick in 2003 finished his career with 1,062 catches and 70 touchdowns, and he finished with seven 1,000-yard seasons during his 14-year career.

On the defensive side, Freeney earned the call to Canton in his second year of eligibility. He led the NFL with 16 sacks in 2004 and finished his career with 125 1/2 sacks in 218 games.

Willis’ wait ended after five years of eligibility. Although his career was shortened because of injuries, he finished with seven Pro Bowl selections in eight years with the 49ers.

Peppers burst onto the scene with the Carolina Panthers in 2002, finishing his rookie season with 12 sacks, five forced fumbles and an interception in 12 games. The defensive end went on to star for the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers before returning to Carolina to finish his career. He is the only player in NFL history to rack up at least 150 sacks and 10 interceptions.

McMichael, affectionately known as “Mongo” by Bears fans, was a key part of Chicago’s 1985 Super Bowl championship team. The defensive lineman finished his career with 95 sacks and 13 forced fumbles and gained notoriety for his fearless playing style. The honor was bittersweet as McMichael is battling ALS and was unable to attend the announcement in Las Vegas.

Gradishar was named to seven Pro Bowls during his 10-year career with the Broncos. He was voted the NFL’s defensive player of the year in 1978, and he finished with 20 interceptions, 13 fumble recoveries and four defensive touchdowns to go along with 19 1/2 sacks and more than 2,000 tackles.

–Field Level Media

Saraland's Ryan Williams (1) scores his second touchdown of the night against Clay-Chalkville during the AHSAA Class 6A football state championship game at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Friday December 8, 2023.

5-star Alabama WR commit Ryan Williams reclassifies to ’24

Five-star wide receiver Ryan Williams announced Monday he is reclassifying to 2024 and will sign with Alabama in February.

The Saraland (Ala.) High School star committed to the Crimson Tide on Oct. 8, 2022. He caught 72 passes for 1,324 yards and 19 touchdowns for his 14-1 team in 2023.

He is ranked No. 3 in the 2025 ESPN 300 and No. 12 nationally in the 2025 class by the 247Sports composite.

Williams is the third five-star recruit in Alabama’s 2024 class, joining cornerback Jaylen Mbakwe and quarterback Julian Sayin.

–Field Level Media

Aug 4, 2023; Canton, OH, USA; A general overall view of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

1950s-era coach Buddy Parker named Hall of Fame finalist

Buddy Parker, who led the Detroit Lions to two NFL championships in the 1950s, was selected as a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2024 class.

The coach, who died in 1982 at age 68, also is credited by the Hall of Fame as being the inventor of the two-minute offense.

Parker was selected by the Coach/Contributor Committee, the Hall of Fame announced Wednesday. His name will now go to the Hall of Fame’s 50-member Selection Committee, who will consider Parker along with 15 modern-era players and three seniors for enshrinement when the committee meets early next year.

It will require 80 percent approval from the committee for selection.

The list of semifinalists in the category was made up, in part, of Super Bowl-winning coaches and prominent owners. The semifinalists were Tom Coughlin, Mike Holmgren, Frank “Bucko” Kilroy, Robert Kraft, Dan Reeves, Art Rooney Jr., Marty Schottenheimer, Mike Shanahan, Clark Shaughnessy, Lloyd Wells and John Wooten.

In 15 seasons as a coach in the NFL with the Chicago Cardinals, Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers, Parker had a career record of 107-76-9, which includes a 3-1 record in the postseason.

His Lions won the 1952 and 1953 NFL title games, both against the Cleveland Browns. Detroit dropped the 1954 game to the Browns in what was Parker’s only head-to-head loss against Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown in five meetings as the Lions’ coach.

–Field Level Media

Jan 18, 2023; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Former NFL quarterback and Virginia Tech Hokies player Michael Vick watches from courtside during the Hokies' game against the Virginia Cavaliers in the second half at John Paul Jones Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Vick, Larry Fitzgerald lead College FB HOF ballot

Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Vick and Terrell Suggs highlight 78 former players on the 2024 College Football Hall of Fame ballot released Monday by the National Football Foundation.

The ballot also includes nine coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision as well as 101 players and 32 coaches from the divisional ranks.

Fitzgerald, Vick and Suggs all made the ballot in their first year of eligibility.

“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot considering more than 5.62 million people have played college football and only 1,074 players have been inducted,” NFF president & CEO Steve Hatchell said in the release. “The Hall’s requirement of being a First-Team All-American creates a much smaller pool of about 1,500 individuals who are even eligible. Being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to have ever played the game, and we look forward to announcing the 2024 College Football Hall of Fame Class early next year.”

Vick led Virginia Tech to the then-BCS National Championship game on Jan. 4, 2000, a 46-29 loss to Florida State. He finished third in the 1999 Heisman Trophy voting, throwing for 2,065 yards and rushing for another 682. He combined for 22 touchdowns. He went No. 1 to the Atlanta Falcons in 2001.

Fitzgerald won the Biletnikoff Award in 2003 and finished second in Heisman balloting after catching 92 passes for 1,672 yards and 22 TDs. Pitt retired his No. 1 jersey in 2013. He went on to be the No. 4 pick in the 2004 NFL Draft.

Suggs recorded 44 sacks in three seasons at Arizona State with 65 1/2 tackles for loss. He was selected 10th overall in the 2003 draft by the Baltimore Ravens.

Membership voting goes through June 30. The announcement of who will be inducted will come in early 2024.

–Field Level Media

Recruit Jaden Reddell watches Ohio State warm up prior to the Buckeyes' game against Indiana.

Jaden Reddell

Georgia lands 4-star TE Jaden Reddell

Georgia landed four-star tight end Jaden Reddell on Wednesday, the third-best recruit out of the state of Missouri in the Class of 2024.

Reddell is also considered the third-best tight end in the class and the No. 55 overall recruit, per the 247Sports composite rankings.

The 6-foot-4, 233-pound Reddell chose the Bulldogs over Alabama, Tennessee, Arizona State and Arkansas, among 41 offers.

Reddell caught 49 passes for 1,002 yards and 12 touchdowns last season for Raymore-Peculiar High School in Peculiar, Mo.

Reddell pads Georgia’s No. 1 ranking in the Class of 2024, which also includes a commitment from No. 1 overall recruit QB Dylan Raiola.

–Field Level Media

Jadyn Davis of Providence Day High School visits before the game with NC State at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina Saturday, October 1, 2022.

Ncaa Football Clemson Football Vs Nc State Wolfpack

2024 5-star QB Jadyn Davis commits to Michigan

Michigan received a major Class of 2024 commitment on Friday from five-star quarterback Jadyn Davis.

The elite recruit from Providence Day School in Charlotte, N.C., chose the Wolverines over Clemson, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee and others during an ESPN broadcast.

Davis is ranked as the nation’s No. 2 quarterback prospect (No. 28 overall) by the 247 Sports composite.

“It’s a dream come true for sure,” Davis told 247 Sports. “I’ve been going through this process for a really long time and just to be done with it and committed to the Michigan Wolverines is a true blessing.”

Davis guided Providence Day to a state championship as a 2022 junior, passing for 3,425 yards with 43 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He was named North Carolina’s Gatorade Player of the Year.

–Field Level Media

Trinity Christian Academy's Colin Hurley (2) walks over to coaches during the second quarter of a regular season high school football game Friday, Oct. 7, 2022 at Riverside High School in Jacksonville. Trinity won 30-14.

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5-star QB Colin Hurley commits to LSU, reclassifies to ’24

Five-star quarterback Colin Hurley committed to LSU and reclassified to the Class of 2024 on Friday.

The 6-foot, 213-pound prospect from Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Fla., was the No. 3 QB in the 247 Sports composite for 2025 and will be re-ranked for 2024.

Hurley, who visited LSU for a Sept. 10 win against Southern, chose the Tigers over offers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Miami and Ohio State, among others.

Hurley joins a loaded quarterback room in Baton Rouge that includes 2023 four-star commitment Rickie Collins, true freshman Walker Howard and redshirt freshman Garrett Nussmeier.

–Field Level Media

Sophomore quarterback, Dylan Raiola poses for a photo at Chandler High School's practice football fields on March 10, 2022, in Chandler, AZ.

High School Football Dylan Raiola

5-star 2024 QB Dylan Raiola commits to Ohio State

Five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola committed to Ohio State’s Class of 2024.

Ranked as the No. 3 quarterback and the No. 8 overall player in the class by the 247Sports composite, Raiola announced his decision with a video posted to social media Monday night on his 17th birthday.

He chose the Buckeyes over Alabama, Georgia, Southern California, Texas and Oregon.

Raiola played last season at Burleson High School in Texas, where he was coached by former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna. He threw for 3,341 yards and 32 touchdowns as a sophomore, according to MaxPreps.

He since transferred to Chandler High School in suburban Phoenix.

His father, Dominic Raiola, played center for the Detroit Lions for 14 seasons, retiring after the 2014 season.

Ohio State added four-star quarterback Devin Brown of Draper, Utah, in the Class of 2022 but does not yet have a QB commitment in its 2023 class.

–Field Level Media