In his first year as an eligible candidate, Brian Urlacher was named as one of the 27 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The announcement doesn't come as much of a surprise considering the brilliant career the legendary Bears linebacker had. In 13 seasons with Da Bears, Urlacher proved how valuable he was against both the run and pass, tallying 22 interceptions, 41.5 sacks and 1,040 tackles.
In other words, yeah, he's a worthy first-ballot inductee.
As the captain of those tremendous Bears defenses in the 2000s, Urlacher made the Pro Bowl eight times, All-Pro teams five times and was honored as Defensive Player of the Year in 2005. And despite falling just short of capturing the team's first Super Bowl since 1985, the Bears were usually competitive even with consistent offensive woes and a revolving door for quarterbacks.
There are a few more hurdles to clear before No. 54 dons a Hall of Fame jacket, though. The list of 27 gets cut to 15 before voters make their final decisions as to who ultimately gets the call to Canton, Ohio, and there are several other deserving players. Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Ronde Barber and Terrell Owens are just some of the other headliners in the Class of 2018:
BREAKING: 27 semi-finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2018 have been announced: pic.twitter.com/sp2AMuKlSV— Forward Mile NFL (@ForwardMileNFL) November 22, 2017
The Bears will soon have their first Hall of Famer since Richard Dent, who received the nod in 2011. The only question now is whether the voters make Urlacher wait a year.