CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Former Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith Jr. was named a semifinalist for the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame class Tuesday.

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Smith, who remains a figure in the Charlotte community, played for the Panthers from 2001-2013 and was drafted by Carolina in the 2001 NFL Draft as the 74th pick in the 3rd round out of Utah.

Smith led the league in receiving yards and was co-leader for most touchdowns and receptions in 2005. He is a 5-time Pro Bowler.

Smith was a semifinalist last year, his first year of eligibility. He retired in 2016 after three seasons in Baltimore.

Julius Peppers retired in 2019, Greg Olsen in 2021, Thomas Davis Jr. in 2021, and Luke Kuechly in 2020. Players must wait five years in order to be eligible.

Sam Mills was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame last year. Mills played for Carolina from 1995-1997 and then became a coach with the team.

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