he 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement class will honor defense as well as a player many consider the best kickoff/punt returner ever.

The seven-member Class of 2024 will include defensive end Julius Peppers, defensive end Dwight Freeney and linebacker Patrick Willis. Devin Hester, the league’s record holder for kickoff and punt returns for touchdowns, and wide receiver Andre Johnson will also be enshrined as modern-era selections.

Linebacker Randy Gradishar, who played in his last game in 1983, and defensive tackle Steve McMichael, who retired after 1994 season, were senior finalists selected to be enshrined.

It is the second consecutive year at least three modern-era defensive players are in an enshrinement class. In 2023, other than the Hall’s 15-member Centennial Class, it was the first time four modern-era defensive players had been enshrined in the same year.

This year’s class was chosen by the Hall’s board of selectors in a virtual meeting. The seven Hall of Famers will be officially enshrined on Aug. 3, in Canton, Ohio.