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Hurricanes’ Devin Hester, Andre Johnson named to Pro Football Hall of Fame

UM's Devin Hester runs the opening kickoff back for a touchdown against Florida in 2003. Hester was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Thursday. (ֱ file photo)
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UM’s Devin Hester runs the opening kickoff back for a touchdown against Florida in 2003. Hester was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Thursday. (ֱ file photo)
Adam Lichtenstein, ֱ sports reporter.
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Devin Hester established himself as one of the all-time greatest special teams players in football history. Andre Johnson became one of the NFL’s top receiving threats. On Thursday, they were recognized for their career accomplishments and announced as 2024 inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Hester and Johnson were two of three former Hurricanes who made the cut as finalists this year, alongside wide receiver Reggie Wayne. Glades Central alum Fred Taylor was also a finalist.

Hester and Johnson have been finalists three times. Wayne has been a finalist five times, and Taylor is a first-time finalist. Hester and Johnson are in their third year of eligibility, Wayne is in his fifth and Taylor is in his ninth.

Nine former Hurricanes are already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Jim Otto, Ted Hendricks, Jim Kelly, Michael Irvin, Cortez Kennedy, Warren Sapp, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Edgerrin James.

Hester, a Riviera Beach native who went to Suncoast High, played offense, defense and special teams at Miami. In three seasons, he had 638 punt-return yards and four touchdowns along with 1,019 kick-return yards with two touchdowns. He also had 24 carries for 160 yards and a touchdown and 10 catches for 196 yards. On defense, Hester had five interceptions.

Hester was a second-round pick in the 2006 NFL draft, joining the Chicago Bears. In his rookie year, he had 47 punts returns for 600 yards and three touchdowns plus 20 kickoffs for 528 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned a missed field goal that season for a 108-yard score.

In his 11-year pro career, he had 3,695 punt-return yards and 14 touchdowns with the latter being an NFL record. He also had 7,333 kick-return yards and five touchdowns. He also had 255 catches for 3,311 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Hester was a first-team All-Pro pick three times, was a member of the NFL’s 2010s All-Decade Team and was one of two return specialists on the NFL 100 All-Time Team.

Johnson, a Miami native, played three seasons with the hometown Hurricanes, racking up 1,831 yards and 20 touchdowns in three seasons with the Hurricanes, helping the uber-talented 2001 team win a national title.

The Houston Texans picked Johnson at No. 3 in the 2003 draft, and he spent 12 of his 14 years in the NFL in Houston. He notched 14,185 receiving yards on 1,062 catches and had 70 career touchdowns. Johnson was a two-time first-team All-Pro pick and a seven-time Pro Bowler.

Wayne, a New Orleans native, played four seasons at Miami and had 173 catches for 2,510 yards and 20 touchdowns. The Indianapolis Colts picked Wayne in the first round of the 2001 draft.

In Indianapolis, Wayne teamed with Marvin Harrison and Peyton Manning and helped lead the Colts to a win over Hester’s Bears in Super Bowl 41, which was played in Miami. Wayne racked up 14,345 yards and 82 touchdowns on 1,070 catches in his 14-year pro career.

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