By Chris Emma–

(CBS) Bears linebacker great Brian Urlacher took the next step to becoming a first-ballot Hall of Famer when he was named as a semifinalist for the 2018 class on Tuesday night.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame unveiled its 27 modern-era candidates, with Urlacher, Randy Moss and Ray Lewis among the first-time nominees likely to be voted in.

Urlacher spent all 13 years of his career with the Bears, recording 1,040 tackles and 22 interceptions over 182 games. He was the leader of a Bears defense that had a dominant era of play at the turn of the century.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.