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Eddie George is a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. While the Tennessee Titans’ all-time leading rusher is still a long way from induction, that is a big step.

George has been eligible for more than a decade, and this the first time he has advanced beyond the preliminary ballot. He is one of 26 modern-era players (one of three running backs) who were named semifinalists on Wednesday.

The only other one among that group to have played for the Titans is wide receiver Andre Johnson, who capped his career with eight games with Tennessee in 2016 before he retired in midseason. Johnson is one of seven semifinalists who are in their first year of eligibility.

George rushed for 10,009 yards in eight seasons with the Titans/Oilers and 10,441 overall in a nine-year career that concluded with one season as a member of the Dallas Cowboys (2004).

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He became the 17th running back in NFL history to surpass 10,000 career rushing yards when he got there in the final game of the 2003 season. He currently ranks 28th among the league’s all-time leading rushers.

George was a starter for the first 130 games of his NFL career, which ranked second only to Walter Payton (170) among running backs. He ran for better than 1,200 yards in each of his first five seasons, a feat matched only by Eric Dickerson, and became the sixth player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first five seasons (four of the first five are in the Hall of Fame).

George’s 8.978 rushing yards over his first eight seasons were the most in the NFL during that time, his 1,368 rushing yards as a rookie were – at the time – among the top 10 for a first-year player and he became one of five players ever to have more than 400 rushing attempts in a single season when he carried it 403 times in 2000.

The 14th overall pick in 1996, he started all 128 games he played for the Titans and 136 of 141 in his career. He was the 1996 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and a four-time Pro Bowler.

The 26 semifinalists will be reduced to 15 finalists in the coming weeks. The selection committee will meet during Super Bowl week and will choose the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022 from among those finalists.